Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Day 1 — AT LAST!

Wow, what a trip! It really hit me this morning, driving to work, that my dreams were finally coming true. I made it, I was teaching a subject that I enjoy, to students at a level I like teaching, in a great school with a terrific staff. The previous seven weeks were a pain in the neck (and no, it's not over yet, just off to the side a bit), but it's all been worth the wait!

Too bad I got off to a bad start! Today was my day to travel from room to room, so of course I left several things in my desk! Fortunately I was able to get them before class began, but it was close. It's a little odd, in that my first two classes were pretty small (fifteen and twenty students), then the next two were huge (thirty-five and almost forty). I'm not the only one in that pickle, however, and I warned all of my classes (ooh, let me say that again — my classes!) that there would likely be some shuffling around over the next few days. Further complicating matters, the English lab class which comes to me halfway through one period wasn't dismissed for a long time (there were some opening day teething problems with the bells), so I ended up getting them for only twenty minutes instead of the forty I should have had them. Nevertheless, I did accomplish the one big thing I needed to do with them — going through the course outline, of course.

Being the first day, we didn't actually get to do a lof of math, but that all changes tomorrow. Two of the classes, however (my non-labs), got some poster-sized paper with math topics written at the top and brainstormed ideas to go with those topics. First period was a bit rusty, as it was a small class, my students were tired (ooh, let me say that again — my students!), and I think they were just a bit still in shock at finally being back in school. Fourth period, however, went to town (larger class right after lunch), and came up with some good stuff, even for "Exponential Growth," which as I suspected was the real head-scratcher.

The real highlight of my day, however, came during the drive up to work. Yesterday I e-mailed Kent and Alan, a local DJ team, to play Chumbawumba's "Tubthumping" as a dedication to everyone in the Marysville School District, especially my colleagues at MJHS. They read my letter on the air (abridged, of course — in case you haven't already noticed, I can write up a storm once I get going), played the song (I cranked it up all the way), and made some really nice comments. Another teacher called in and thanked them and me for the song, as it made her feel good. Laura was able to capture the whole thing on her computer, and I gather that they kept talking about it. Laura even talked to Alan later (off air) and thanked them, and he told her that they were getting lots of positive calls from supporting teachers, and wishing my colleagues and me luck. Many of my colleagues also heard it, and congratulated me when I came in. Even the principal heard it, and she admitted that when she first figured out it was me, she was worried about what the song might be, but she heartily approved of the final result.

Okay, I'd better stop now, or I won't have anything to say tomorrow!

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