Tuesday, August 12, 2014

15 Years

Today was the first day of my 15th year of teaching.  I can hardly believe it, and yet, I can.  The past few days I've been suffering from borderline sadness about returning to work for another school year. As much as I LOVE my new school the last two years have been hard, kid-wise.  I worried that I just didn't have the energy to take on another group of students with severe apathy and behavior problems.  Alas, the mortgage bill arrived last week so I couldn't didn't quit.  Even though the administrators and first grade teachers at my school promised a change this year, I started this morning skeptical; kind of bracing for the 2nd grade tornado that has hit the last two years.  And boy, I was pleasantly surprised at what a nice first day of school it was.  Sure, there are some stinkers, but nothing in comparison.  And the best part...they are excited about learning.  There was a concern that apathy was the new normal these days, but I have been proven wrong...thank goodness.  Of course, we always describe the first day of school as the honeymoon period, and the true colors come out soon after.  But I can say that this year's honeymoon was far better than last year so I am hopeful.

Anyhow, after 34 hours of vacation time unpacking and preparing my classroom (link to the before pictures) coinciding with the construction and painting because, no, it still isn't all done, the room was presentable to begin this morning.



After my bright lime, light blue, and brown color scheme from the previous two years, this turquoise and black decor seems kind of boring (the ugly new paint color doesn't help either), but it's very calm...maybe that was my problem the last two years!?!?!  I'm still without an electronic whiteboard which I have forgotten how to teach without.  However, it's supposed to be installed tomorrow morning.  Fingers crossed!

One day down, 179 more to go!

12 comments:

  1. Congrats on another year!! You deserve a wonderful, low stress year.

    Next week I will be taking a class at the middle school I started working at 29 years ago! I can hardly beleive it! I have to work 20 years in my current district before I can retire with 3 years of benefits....so I have at least 2 more years. This is the first year I haven't been back to work on my classroom....usually it is all set up by now....but I have more important things to taek care of at home.

    Happy Wednesday :)

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    1. Yes! You've had other things on your mind. I wish I were closer so I could help!

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  2. The room looks amazing!!! I saw the before pics. You are a superhero! Not just because you created this amazing physical space for your students, but also the wonderful spirit that you brought this year. Those kids saw it and felt it. Wow. XO!

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    1. Yes, my wonderful sadness spirit. :) I've snapped out of it though. The amount of time spent on the room was kind of deflating. But it's finished and hopefully good to go for awhile.

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  3. They say blues are calming, but I'd say it simply that the are receding colours.
    That room looks really well.
    As to the calmness of the kids. It's you. The kids know you. The last lot would've spoken to their younger siblings/cousins/whathaveyou. So they aren't coming to an unknown. They'll know your red button issues and tiptoe around you on them. They'll know what you're quick on the trigger about and the braver ones will test you, and ALL the kids will know what the brave one is about. They will also know your systems, albeit secondhand. But they will know. And that by itself will calm them.

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  4. I think that once student work goes up on the boards it'll add interest. I'm happy it's serene, but I do feel a little bad that it's not quite as cute and pretty as it was last time. :) I needed a break from it though.
    That could be part of the change. It's been two years, so when once I walked through the halls and only my students knew me at the new school, there are now 3 years of students who do. Last year's group was tough for all AND we were warned about them by 1st grade. This year's was given nothing but compliments. So there is a difference in kids too. Some changes were made in Kindergarten two years ago (full day K instead of half day and kids now have to be 5 by Sept 1 to enter K...it used to be December in California but the law thankfully changed). So this group is reaping the benefits of those positive changes. Last year most of my kids were a half a year younger than the 7 that they are supposed to be in 2nd. It really showed. And with the increase in requirements for Kinder full day gives teachers the time to teach the HOW to go to school as well as what they need to know. When it was only half day, academics and/or behavior suffered because there weren't enough hours in the school day to do both. So lots of variables I think. But I'm glad. After last year I really didn't know how I could do another year like that again. It was exhausting, more than the usual teacher exhaustion. :)

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    1. Is this your 3rd year at the new place. Wow. It seems only last year since you moved or at most the year before.

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    2. I know, right?!?! Yep, on the third year. It's hard to believe, but there were a lot of days last year where it felt like a hundred. :)

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    3. Yeah, but issues in the classroom are better for the mind that being manipulated, like in your last place.

      But you do realize the two weeks at the start and the two week at the end shortened your vac by a month.

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    4. You aren't kidding, on both accounts. :). But yes, the two scenarios are very different. Kids are part of the job description, but the drama isn't. While the thought of having to do this for 20+ more years is somewhat daunting, being at this school is so pleasant on a whole that it's definitely a healthier work environment.
      And on the vacation time, I know! Those extra weeks were lost and I regret it a bit. The first two were ok knowing that vaca was on it's way and DC was fun all in all. This past week of working though was painful. And any other year I would have worked another week or two on curriculum, but I was just so tired after last year that I had to say "no" (gasp!).

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  5. Love to read about the pride of a teacher...

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