And I’m not participating. I’m talking about back-to-school. Today is actually the first day of school for a neighboring school district just a few blocks to the west of me. The large urban school district for whom I taught all those years returns in another week and a half as does the state college here in town. Teachers every where are heading back to their offices and classrooms to prepare for the net onslaught.
Yesterday I had lunch with a young teacher whose friendship I made through her blog. We learned, over the years, that we had much in common. She had another life before becoming a teacher, similar to me; she is a fairly new teacher, just up the highway a piece, and somehow we discovered that she and my son-in-law had grown up together. She likes to write, and she likes to use technology in her classroom. Although young enough to be my daughter, we had a good time chatting about teaching, students, hair, and all the other stuff that makes up a life. She returns to school tomorrow. I hope she has a great year. She deserves it.
As do so many of my teacher friends who are working so hard to make this teaching thing a success for their students. They have started to prepare for those students even while the summer heat lingers and the days are still long. My old teaching buddy is coming by on Friday to get a brief lesson on PhotoShop as she will this year teach one period of multimedia, a class I taught the last two years of my career. It’s all about photography, document layout, web design, and video. Lots of equipment involved. More software than I care to remember. Juggling so many projects, students, and flash drives!
My last day in the multimedia classroom.
My summer vacation is over. Although the kids don’t come back until the 18th, this next week is filled to the brim, and I have to set my alarm for 5 a.m. again.
Monday and Tuesday are Link Crew days when the new freshmen come for orientation. I’m always excited to see the new kids, and although I don’t teach freshmen, I will make sure to get lots of pictures of the fresh, new faces and their expressions as they get acquainted with the big campus.
Wednesday is our first inservice day when we hear the numbers, as in how our test scores line up with the rest of the district and the rest of the state. We’ll see the subgroups and progress of each and then we’ll see if we’re still in trouble. Makes my stomach churn every year.
Thursday is the first official day back for faculty and my yearbook photographer who does the professional pictures will be there to get a photo of each staff member. I love these pictures because everyone is well rested, optimistic, happy to be back with their friends and coworkers. We will hear introductions of all the new staff, and it’s a large number this year due to retirements and the new freshmen program.
Friday is when we rotate through workshops that will give us teaching tips and tell us how to use the new grading program the district is trying out on us this year. We seem to often be asked to demo these things. I guess if it works with our school, it will work anywhere else.
Somewhere in there teachers will be required to set up their classrooms, get their syllabus turned in, be ready for the first day. Since the freshmen classrooms aren’t quite ready, it may be the weekend before those teachers get to set up their rooms. Here’s an example:
No matter what, though, the kids are coming the 18th.