Sunday, October 27, 2013

School Year Celebration

Carol, Franki, and Mary Lee have been Celebrating their weeks.   Given that I haven’t written anything in a while I’m going to celebrate that I finally have a new post.  I am teaching at a different school this year.  It is very different.  It is the first non Title-1 school I have taught at.  As the year has unfolded I have many things I want to celebrate about my new teaching/learning environment. 
My classroom is on the second floor.
  1. I am learning new curriculum.  After 15 years of teaching Everyday Mathematics I am learning how to teach Singapore Math.  There are days were my confusion is probably not the best thing to celebrate, but I love the challenge.
  2. 25 boys showed up for Guys Read Book Club.  My first year at Montclair I only had eight.  I received an A to Z Grant to buy books for the book club.
  3. I am learning how to infuse the IB mindset throughout the day.
  4. We are creating new social studies and science units based on Common Core.  It is so hard to fit it all into the IB model, but SO cool to have the lines of inquiry and formulate a summative assessment.
  5. I spent the day in Los Angles with Lucy Calkins learning about her new writing units.
  6. I get to see my niece and nephew everyday.  Hannah is in third grade across the hall and Levi is downstairs rocking first grade.
  7. I got to sit next to my parents and sister at the third grade concert last Thursday.
  8. I get to see my old students that attend the middle school in the same building.
  9. On Friday as I walk up the stairs dreading the fact that I had to go to the gym before libations an old student was waiting for me at the my classroom door.  He was early picking up his brother, so he stopped by to tell me a funny story.  (What is funny to an 8th grade is always that funny!)  We talked about school and he peppered me with questions about books he had read.  Ciaran left my ARC of Jon Scieszka’s new Guys Read Other Worlds.
  10. Finally, I want to celebrate that I get to spend my day with 26 talkative kids that are excited to learn.

So, I know it is kind of lame that I just did a Top Ten list, but the truth is that I could go on.  It has been very challenging being in a new environment, and starting the year with no social studies unit, but I know that if I’m not challenged I do not teach well.  My kids deserve the best, even if that means that at times I have no idea what I’m doing on the Promethean Board, and W has to help me.