Things are coming together quite nicely. We’re going into our last week of summer school, and though I’m not teaching, I’m enjoying building a relationship with the students in other ways. I’m also enjoying being able to observe my colleagues at the middle school and high school for good instructional strategies and management techniques.
Like last year, I won’t have my own classroom, which is one thing that I feel contributed to a few issues that I had in terms of organization and classroom management. Without having a core place to call home and store things (not even a desk or file cabinet or anything), I was left to cart everything around in folders upon folders, and just hope that I had remembered to bring the right folder for the right class with me. It was, in my mind, a logistical nightmare that always left me feeling relatively unprepared for class. When considering management, it was difficult to really “own” the space that I was in. There were always other teachers who had the supreme say over the room, and I felt it was important to abide by those rules. Thus, I felt that the students felt that I was not really in charge, and they could push limits until the teacher whose room we were in felt it was too much.
This year, I feel in a better place about floating from room to room, and I’ve had time to organize better systems for managing different paperwork, and procedures for class. I think what also helps is that other teachers are on one accord with what constitutes appropriate/inappropriate behavior, so there’s a level of consistency that greatly matters when dealing with the students. Additionally, having been able to get to know students during summer school has allowed me to create a relationship with them that I feel helps them respond better to correction and discipline.
As things come together, I’m excited about getting back into the classroom and teaching material that I love. A lot of work has gone into planning this year; probably more than I’ve ever done before, and I feel confident that the extreme amount of planning done on the front end will bring about success as it is executed.
The last thing that I’m working on pulling together is a plan for success as I start my doctoral coursework. As I looked at the syllabus this weekend, I got a little overwhelmed. Nevertheless, I plan to work diligently towards this goal, as I am with all others. There’s much being invested, and there’s much at stake.
So, there you have it. As I get more into the year and into a regular routine, I’ll post more. Until next time…