05 January 2009

I think I’m ready…

I always question myself a million times the day before the first day of a new term. Not a new semester—a new term. This means I question myself a million times four times a school year. Did I make all of the copies that I need? Do I have enough textbooks? Have I forgotten ANYTHING that I MUST have tomorrow? I rarely have forgotten anything that was a necessity, but I still have that fear. I do have a new Parent Information Form that I need to type for my English 11 class, but fortunately I have planning before I have that class. I can type it tonight after dinner and then print and copy it tomorrow. IF for some reason I can't get it copied (like all three copiers decide to go on the fritz at the same time…) it really isn't a huge deal if I don't send it home tomorrow. Wednesday would be just fine, but I'd much rather get all that done on the first day of class.

The first day of every new semester is always so tiring. I (and every other teacher I know) spend so much time going over all of the "housekeeping" stuff—class expectations, policies, stressing attendance, etc. that by the end of the day I feel like I've been run over. I do have my students do a grammar diagnostic test on the first day, too. That gives me a chance to assign textbooks. Once they finish their diagnostic test, they can then begin reading and/or doing their homework assignment.

They have SUCH a hard homework assignment the first night. LOL. I ask them to write a "letter" to me telling me something about themselves. I want to find out those interesting tidbits about them that aren't obvious or that I can't look up in the computer. I want to know what some of their quirks are, what is something that brings them absolute joy (or fear), what are their hopes and dreams. I do this to get to know something about them that I might not otherwise have the chance to learn. One of my students from last year told me about the time she helped a horse give birth and what an awesome experience it was. She plans on becoming at large animal vet, so it was something that was very relevant to her. In a normal class day, would I have ever had the opportunity to learn that she had experienced the birth of a foal? Probably not. I do tell them that I do not want them to share anything with me that would make them uncomfortable, and I stress that as a school-system employee, I am bound by law to report anything that could be considered abuse and/or neglect. IF they chose to tell me something of that nature, then I would see that as a plea for help.

The one thing that always amazes me is those students who, for some reason, don't think that we will be doing anything educational on the first day of the semester. There is usually at least one who comes in and says, "You mean we're doing work today?" I'm always so tempted to say, "Nah. I think we'll just sit around and play cards today." Silly kids! Hahaha

Well, I have a Parent Information Form to type, so I better get busy. I hope your Tuesday is just GREAT! J


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