Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Back to School: Teacher Week

I am in the middle of my first official week back at school.  Here's a rundown of my week so far:

  • I have been appointed department chair.  Since my school has one of the largest middle school ESOL programs in the state (it's close to 350 students at this point), the job description has been changed.  I will spend first period with an assigned class (I requested and received eighth grade since I love looping with students) and will spend the remainder of the day managing paperwork and working with other teachers.  I am currently reading Student Centered Coaching: A Guide for K-8 Coaches and Principals (Sweeney, 2010) to prepare for this new responsibility.
  • I admit that I am a bit nervous about working so closely with adults.  It can be difficult to ask adults to evaluate and consider changing their practices, even if it does propel student achievement.  However, I was encouraged today when I reminded my department about our meeting over the PA system (we're scattered around the building) and teachers who are not members of the ESOL department showed up just to hear what I had to say.  
  • I worked a monster day yesterday and managed to get my entire room set up.  The building was thoroughly cleaned over the summer and the bag of pre-cut material I use for the bulletin boards was mistaken for trash and discarded (FYI: New England Patriots fabric is not trash).  The ever-expanding ESOL department came to the rescue and helped me find enough paper and border to cover all eight of my bulletin boards.  I have to say that my room has never looked better.
  • My school has a new principal.  He is a former ESOL student and very supportive of the program.  I am extremely optimistic about this year.

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