So how is the new year going? 2018/2019

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Linguist92021, Aug 19, 2018.

  1. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Aug 19, 2018

    We went back on the 6th (Monday) and kids started on the 8th.
    We've had a lot of changes and let me just say, I don't think everything is figured out yet.

    As far as I'm concerned, I am very happy because I asked to be switched to independent study, so that's what I'm doing, but I'm still on the same campus.
    Positives:
    - I'll never have a bad day because student disrespect, profanity, defiance or any other classroom management issue, because it's one-on-one
    - My work is over at 2:45 pm and it means just that. My afternoons and weekends are 100 % mine. I don't have to think about lesson plans or grading, etc. Assignments are printed from the computer, and graded during the day. There's nothing to take home.
    - my coworkers are great. We've already known each other and have worked together for short times, so it's not like I'm brand new.
    - everyone is very helpful, there is a steep learning curve, but amazingly I'm doing pretty well. Haven't made any big mistakes yet (just a couple of small, fixable ones)
    - in the future I can teach elective classes to independent study students (in a classroom format), I do miss that kind of teaching, but if they don't give us extra prep time for that, then I might not do it.

    Negatives:
    - they are not honoring our contract time, meaning prep time. We're supposed to have 45 minutes a day, out of that we have 15 minutes, but the other 30 minutes are eaten up by supervision every other week. The same way as it was last year, and although we don't need to plan for 3 classes, etc, we still need some time to prepare for the students. 45 minutes (30 before school and 15 after) would be exactly sufficient. Right now I have been working through lunch, which I don't like
    - probably because of this my first week went like this: non-stop from 7:30 - noon (not even a minute break), 30 minutes lunch, after work go home, fall into bed and live in it until next morning: nap, watch tv, eat dinner and sleep. I have been exhausted because the first week is very high paced (we're assigning courses to students, analyzing their transcript, writing up contracts, going over everything and it takes one hour. And then the next kid comes. So it's been non-stop.

    The regular classroom teachers are no co-teaching in a block schedule of 90 minutes - I'm not unhappy that I don't have to do that. They now have to turn in lesson plans for 1 week every Friday. Definitely happy I've dodged that bullet this whole time.
    But they have an hour and a half prep time ever day and the entire Friday (kids don't come to school on Fridays). Yet, we have to supervise every morning. So that is not very fair at all, but whatever, they have plenty to deal with.

    Some more positives: I still get to interact with my previous students somewhat it's only during morning supervision (not enough) and now that they don't have me as their teacher, they miss me lol. Even the ones that plotted my death (metaphorically speaking), now they want nothing more than me as their teacher. one even said he misses my blunt, straight forward style, the other teacher is too nice. :)

    So I think it will be a great year, 100 % better than the previous one.
     
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  3. whizkid

    whizkid Habitué

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    Aug 19, 2018

    Waiting on Labor Day weekend. Lol
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 19, 2018

    I’m still on summer vacay!
     
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  5. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Aug 19, 2018

    Officially, my contract starts tomorrow, but I've already been in a bunch getting my room set up, interviewing, and helping with the School Improvement Plan. Some early thoughts...

    1) Moving from grade 5 to grade 6. I... I definitely drew a bit of the short straw when it came to behaviors from rising 6th graders.

    2) I like the new curriculum I'll be teaching, and it'll be nice only having two subjects this year (three sections of Math, 1 of Language Arts).

    3) I took the Middle School Math Praxis on a lark just to see if I could add it onto my license (VA lets you add endorsements to an existing license just by passing the Praxis) and I got a 199. Still mad about the two questions I missed (grumble grumble stupid Reflexive Property). Now I'm debating taking the Math Content test just for poops and giggles.

    4) I'm going to be serving as science lead and advanced academic lead while taking doctoral level classes. By November, I expect to be made mostly of caffeine.
     
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  6. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Aug 19, 2018

    We were supposed to start on August 7th, but we were postponed to the 13th due to construction.

    Positives: The kids seem good, and the classes are small. (My biggest group is 20, and my smallest is 14. I was used to 35 per class for many years.)

    Negatives: We have had a ton of changes in the building. New principal, new assistant principal, new counselor, five new teachers, and multiple people moving positions. Change makes me nervous, so I've been worried about everything.
     
  7. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    Aug 19, 2018

    We just went back this week. Mon/Tues weren't bad at all. I got A LOT done in the auditorium: I fixed 213 chairs which were "broken"; changed 13 of the house lights; got the microphones all set up for class meetings Wed/Thurs; got the new wireless mic system set up/installed; fixed some of the stage lights, changed the filters, etc; and lastly changed out the posters both in the ticket area and the staging area for performers. Wed-Fri: one word....exhausting.

    And Ima, 14-20? I'm kinda envious to be honest. My senior class is 36 students – the absolute max I can have in my classroom. The other two are 34 and 31 students.
     
  8. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Aug 19, 2018

    The class of 14 is a reading group. It is small because we have a large group (around 40) kids in Algebra that period. All of my core classes are at 20. This is a small class, too. There are maybe 50 fewer kids that we usually have in a class.
     
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  9. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    Aug 19, 2018

    In all honesty I think the seniors will be the best. Simply because they already know me, know my expectations, know that I don't play. And as an added bonus, we can actually fire all six trebuchets this semester *insert evil laugh here *.
     
  10. Koriemo

    Koriemo Comrade

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    Aug 19, 2018

    I'm returning after two years away. I used to teach English, and now I'm teaching Bible. We also got a new principal.

    The new principal is great, for the most part. I really appreciate her style. She seems much more hands on and involved than the previous principal. The school has gotten way more strict with rules and such. We also have a new lesson planning tool that we are required to use. I don't *love* it, and we have to do these big unit plans, BUT I actually think it helps us become better teachers, so I'm on board with it.
     
  11. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    By the way I wanted to ask do you teach at a private/religious school? I would say good luck with the Bible bit but mostly because to me personally that sounds like the worst subject.
     
  12. Koriemo

    Koriemo Comrade

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    Aug 19, 2018

    I do teach at a private Christian school. Honestly, there is more of a learning curve with it than I expected. The class has some strange expectations. I understand how to teach doctrine or literature. I understand how to do faith/community type activities. But I'm struggling to mix the two together.
     
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  13. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    More power to you. Not my cup of tea.
     
  14. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Aug 19, 2018

    We don't start for another week. I went in last week though and will go in a couple days this week. My class sizes are very lopsided right now, so the counselor was working on trying to even them out more. I'm hoping he'll have some success. My biggest group is also the one with a lot of the harder kids, so we're hoping to separate some of them. We have a new schedule this year, so I'm looking forward to seeing how that works out!
     
  15. RaiderFan87

    RaiderFan87 Rookie

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    Aug 19, 2018

    Off to a phenomenal start. We had two teachers retire in June. Those two people, unfortunately, brought down the entire staff with their negative outlook on teaching (and on life in general). At our welcome back staff meeting, one of my colleagues commented on how the vibe seemed positive. Many people nodded in agreement, but others (like me) chimed in and verbally agreed.
     
  16. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    Aug 19, 2018

    Students started on the 10th (teachers on the 6th) so tomorrow is the start of our second full week.
    So far... the only positives I can think of are that I'm back in a classroom (it was looking iffy last year, I thought I was going to be doing intervention for another year and I was not happy about it) and my team is mostly pretty good about collaborating and planning together.

    Unfortunately my class is proving to be difficult and we have a lot of new curriculum this year for reading and math. I have 28 first graders, 5 of whom speak no English at all, and my whole class is so loud and talkative. I speak enough Spanish to translate for my 5, but it is going to be rough for a while until they learn some English (because on top of not speaking English, a few of those did not have kindergarten. So we're starting from literally square 1). Our whole grade is huge -- there are 5 classes of 28-29 kids each. It's insane. My school has large classes anyway, but the average is like... 25. Not 29.
     
  17. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Aug 20, 2018

    When you have large class sizes, does your district overflow excess students to sites that have extra space (low class sizes)? Our kindergarten classes are currently sitting at 32 students each, so the extra students will be overflowed (bussed) to a school that has room. Last to enroll are the ones who are overflowed. Overflowing students isn't ideal, but it's also not optimal to have such large class sizes--especially in the primary grades.

    ETA: The new kindergarten teacher at the overflow school was hired today. She'll be setting up her room Tuesday & Wednesday and my kiddos will start with her on Thursday!
     
  18. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    Aug 20, 2018

    I think the district used to do this, because the school I student taught at was an overflow school, but as far as I know we don’t anymore. The board policy for class size is that it “depends on enrollment, building size, available staff” etc. So we don’t actually have a cap on class size at the district (or state as far as I know) level.

    I do know there are multiple schools very close to us that have much smaller numbers so it really needs to be adjusted.
     
  19. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Aug 20, 2018

    My district is strange because I have 34 students in my largest class. A friend who teaches the same grade and subject but in a different school (same district) only has 22 in her biggest class. Parents get to order their middle school choice based on preference but I'm not sure how that works.
     
  20. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    All of my classes this semester are over 30 students. My senior physics class is 36 students, which is the max I can have (science classes are capped at 36 students – 6 lab tables, each has room for 6 students). And while I get the students per class debate, I'm sitting over here like... Oh...
     
  21. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Aug 21, 2018

    I feel like I'm off to a great start! This is year five for me in my current school, and my fourth year teaching seniors. I have FOUR sections of Senior English -- I've never had more than three of one prep before. So far, all my classes seem great, though, so as long as that keeps going, I know I can handle it!
     
  22. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Aug 22, 2018

    I missed my first day today. My BFF’s DH subbed for me. I had jury duty.
     
  23. Joyful!

    Joyful! Habitué

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    Aug 22, 2018

    Can you do 3 days teaching and 2 days with acts of kindness? That would give you one day to plan the activity together (like make get well cards for the local hospital) and then you could do/finish the activity on the second day. (Like Monday plan, Friday finish)
     
  24. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Aug 23, 2018

    I had a nightmare last night. I've had this every year before / at the beginning of the school year.
    So in my dream I was back in my middle school building in Hungary, me, the teacher and my students (my actual students, I could probably name most of them). A lot of them, twice the normal amount, classroom in total chaos, first day of school, no one really cares, and 5 minutes before the bell rings, they start walking out. It's the "herd mentality" they all just walk out one by one, into the hallways, I'm going after them telling them to "get your asses back in here " lol, it's a mess but they do walk back in one by one, but regardless, I look like the teacher who can't control her students already and thinking of one of the other teachers who would never have this problem because he's much more meaner than me and he really would say "get your asses back here".
    It was so realistic. I woke up and took me a minute to realize I don't have to deal with this and this will not happen to me now, ever, since I teach independent study, and I see students one on one and they're all sweet and respectful. Then I smile and go to work :)
     
  25. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    Aug 23, 2018

    I wanted to tell y'all this. So yesterday, we had our first class-wide meeting with our Senior class. Basically talking about some of the stuff that's going on this year for Seniors, some of the stuff that they need to be aware of. Making sure that everyone knows as college dead lines approach if they need help getting organized or sending apps in or getting teacher referrals to teach out to myself, their VP, and their other faculty adviser. Really just trying to make sure that they know we're help to make sure they're successful with their endeavors this year. Their VP was talking about some of the strides our Seniors have made since their freshman year, some of the stuff that's happened - both good and bad. And y'all... I was in the back of the auditorium in tears. I couldn't help myself.
     
  26. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Aug 23, 2018

    I must say, I’m pleasantly surprised how well my students are behaving this year, and it’s only the 4th day of class. I was dreading my class sizes because they ballooned over the past two weeks as we have had a huge number of new enrollments (about 100 students), but the students are pretty awesome! My Calc 3 class now has 35 students, but they are some of the best students I’ve had and they very rarely have to be reminded to focus or pipe down. Even my rowdier bunch(es) — which are typically the AP Stats students who don’t want to take Calculus (I have 29 in one class and 31 in the other) are surprisingly well behaved. I’m actually looking forward to this year.

    Last year, I had a small handful of students who were a handful as they could not stop talking sometimes. I have a couple of those this year and I spoke with them in the hall on day 2 to nip it in the butt, so to speak. I wasn’t going to have a repeat of last year if I could prevent it early on. Phew. They’ve since been more reserved.
     
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  27. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    Aug 23, 2018

    You know those maths classes! Wild 2 for 1 parties! ;) joking but seriously glad you're off to a good start
     
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  28. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Aug 23, 2018

    Haha, yes! Math is exciting when done right. I’m naturally an extroverted person when I teach and frequently use manipulatives, models (physical and computer-based), and frequently joke to make math fun. Also, I try to make math relatable and use stories (they’re pretty bizarre and hilarious IMO and the students get a kick out of them) in my word problems to inject humor. My classes are by no means boring and students rarely experience ennui if I can help it.

    It’s nice to be surprised like this. What a great way to start out the new year!
     
  29. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Aug 23, 2018

    LOL

    bud
     
  30. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    Yeah yeah but do you use medieval siege weaponry to smash pumpkins? Haha. I rest my case sir! Good day, sir! I said good day! Haha.
     
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