On Monday, I will have 103 (as of today) bright-eyed, eager-to-learn juniors and seniors walking through the doors of room 313. OK...so most of them might not be bright eyed, and I know some of them won't be eager to learn, and THANK THE LORD I won't have all 103 at one time. :) But Monday is the start of a new school year, and I'm excited.
Because of the state made the decision that no school system could start before August 20, we've had a little more time to get rested. (In addition to this, no system can have instructional days after Memorial Day.) Our board voted on a calendar that put all but one of our professional development days at the beginning of the year, so since last Wednesday, we've been back at work. Yes, you counted correctly. We have 8 PD days before the first day of school, and then we have one day between semesters. WHY do we have 9 PD days, you ask. I'll be more than happy to explain.
Teachers in Alabama have contracts of 187 days. For the past I-don't-know-how-many-years, students have generally been in school 180 days. That is not a magical number though. The magical number is 1,080 hours of instructional time per year (minimum). In our system, at the high school at least, we were providing almost 1,170 hours of instructional time per year, so to make the calendar fit the state guidelines, we were able to cut a couple of days off the instructional calendar. Of course, that makes me freak out because I'm wondering how that will impact the material I have to cover.
Anyway, teachers still have that 187-day contract. That meant 9 days of PD for us. When the calendar came out, my first thought was, "WHOA!! Eight days of PD before school actually starts?!" But after I started thinking about it, I decided it might not be a bad idea. First of all, we are getting ALL those required inservice meetings (like bullying, ESL, alcohol/drug/tobacco, etc.) out of the way. Secondly, we have PLENTY of time to get our classrooms ready, get first day copies made, catch up with colleagues we haven't seen since May, and most importantly (in my book anyway), is that we have PLENTY of time to let our bodies adjust to getting up again. :) In the past, we've had 2-3 PD days, and then there are the kids. Normally, the first week of school I can barely keep my eyes open past 7:30. I'm sure I'll be dragging this time next week, but maybe...just maybe...it won't be so bad.
And this year is starting my 20th year at BRHS. I will actually complete 20 years of teaching in December since I had a semester in another system, but this is 20 for me at ol' Russell High. That means this:
Susan and I have already got it figured out. I will turn 50 in December 2016, and Susan will turn 50 in January 2017. What a better time to retire? I mean...a 50th birthday AND retirement all within a few months? Can you say PAR-TAY????? LOL Oh, and in December of 2017, John and I will celebrate our silver anniversary. <3 Oh yeah, that's gonna be a great year. :)
Now, I gotta go wait for the BEST UPS guy EVER in the history of UPS guys! He's making another stop to bring football tickets! Woo HOO!!!
Have a GREAT day!!!!!