Things I like about my job:
- The “Lunch Bunch” of teachers I eat with in my hallway. They are an amazing group of women who are much more experienced in teaching than I.
- Coming up with funny(-ish; more like straightforward) metaphors and comparisons for relating reading to my critical reading students.
- Scan-trons. They make my life easier for PSAT prep.
- My other math half, Allison. She co-teaches test prep. with me so I do not have to remember the finer points of math or embarrass myself in front of students with my numeral dyslexia.
- My first hour students who know how to get things done, yet still enjoy a good time with super-caffeinated me at the beginning of the day.
- Zumba with fellow teachers, led by an administrator. I doubt any other school has this!
- My Taylor; the other newbie English teacher about my age. It is good to know I’m not the only one! She also gives an excellent name to Arkansas education 🙂
- My room- it may be a bit cramped and lack technology, but it has two windows overlooking the courtyard and is quite lovely.
- THAT I GOT JOB BOX SET UP! This means I no longer have to dash down the hall to the copier to pick up something I’ve printed (often while digging it out of the middle of someone’s copying job and apologetically handing them paper to replace what my prints took).
- All the nice teachers and support staff I’ve met who are completely on board to go the extra mile to help students succeed.
Things I do not like about my job:
- The difficulties of coordination/organization within a large school. This issue alone pretty much encompasses what can make the day-to-day experiences tough.
- That I am the only one doing critical reading. I love the class, but I miss team teaching sometimes, or at least the input other teachers in similar classes can provide.
- How easy it is for children to fall through the cracks in such a large school. There are days I spend my entire plan period hunting down other resources within the school to find help for some of my kids or to gain a fuller perspective on who they are and what we can do together.
- The limited technology. Admittedly, I was spoiled at my last school. However, I do worry that I’m not incorporating enough technology into my lessons because it just isn’t there. I’m working on it.
- When students are accustomed to being held to low standards, call themselves stupid, or would rather expend more energy complaining rather than problem solving.
- The things that are going on in my students’ lives that I can’t guide them through outside of the classroom.
Things I’d like to change for next year:
- Better planning (isn’t this always true?). The whole being hired less than two weeks before school thing really limited my options.
- Booking the computer lab early (see above item).
- Having more ideas of how to arrange desks in a tiny classroom
- Better materials for testing reading comprehension
- A reading endorsement if I am to keep the same position as I have now.
- More organizational stuff. I clearly need some more direction because I don’t even know what all I need! I mean, yes, I do have my color coding and sorting going, and I have good instructional routines in place, but there’s always just that little bit more worth doing to streamline things or make mundane tasks academically meaningful.