I spent most of the day at the school today doing some of those odd and end things that we usually don't have time to do on the inservice/professional development days. You know...important things like checking all of the highlighters and markers to see which ones need to be thrown away, writing important dates for bus duty in my calendar and putting them in my phone--with reminders. Yeah, important stuff like that. Actually, the bus duty dates are kinda important because if you miss one of your days, you get a mild reprimand, and I don't like those. :)
I did actually do a couple of things that are necessary. I got my first-day handouts and my syllabus for next week revised, I set my password for the new Information Now program that we're going to, and I created seating charts for my classes. I still have a ton to do, though. I need to make copies of my handouts, make new copies of my diagnostic test, make copies of my Anglo-Saxon handout...sounds like I'll be spending a LOT of time in the copy room. My intention for today was to get all of my copying out of the way, but by the time I did that really important stuff (highlighters and markers), I decided to just do it tomorrow. For some reason, I was thinking that we wouldn't have much "free" time until Thursday. Maybe that's because we usually don't. We're usually "stuck" in some session listening to some high-dollar speaker tell us what we NEED to do (and it is rarely anything we don't already know.) They just don't tell us HOW to accomplish what we need to accomplish with the limited funds and resources that we have. This year, however, we have our system-wide meeting in the morning, and then we are at our schools doing what we need to do. Sure there are meetings--department, curriculum, etc.--but we aren't ALL involved, so whenever we aren't involved, we can WORK IN OUR ROOMS. GASP!!!!! We have sessions all day Wednesday, but they are school based and should be interesting. Thursday we have one session, and the English department will have our meeting.
Speaking of limited resources and funds...until last year, the state always provided every instructional unit with money to be used for classroom supplies and materials. Unfortunately, proration hit, and last year, the state did not provide ANY instructional supply money. Fortunately, our system managed to find money so that every certified employee had $180 to use. I'm not sure we'll have that this year. I will be very surprised if they can give us any. So, like most of my colleagues, I will spend money out of my own pocket to provide basic supplies. I have already spent over $200 on new highlighters, markers, pencils, pens, correction pens, construction paper, rulers, etc. I ask my parents to send a ream of paper, a box of facial tissue, and either markers OR highlighters or I give them the option of making a tax-deductible donation, but since my class is a required course, I cannot require it. And besides, Alex City is a mill town that has lost most of the mill (thanks to sending so much of the work out of the country!), so many of my parents are struggling themselves.
So tomorrow begins a new year for teachers. I'm excited to get started (even if I'm NOT excited about having to get up early.) A week from today, I will be greeting my seniors. I have 90 first semester. I hope I can encourage them to do their best, to work hard, and to SLOW DOWN. I hope I can instill in them a love of British literature. I hope...
So, that's it for today. Have a GREAT day!