Monday, August 31, 2009

And the WINNER is...

First things first! I know many people use the 'random integer' selector for their giveaways. I decided to let K-man be my random number selector. He choose #17 so that means....the proud winner of their own copy of the Ice Box cakes cookbook is.....

Jessica of Little Birdie Secrets!


She hails from Washington State where she and two friends have a blog that you should check out. They are 'jackies of all trades' with crafts ideas, sewing stuff as well as recipes! I am already checking out her link on how to make your own 'scratch-off' ticket with soap and paint! So cool, I am already thinking how to use those in my classes as incentives!

Thank you all for entering. The comments you made about the book and your intent, indicated to me that I picked a good one. I will be sure to look out for treasures for my next giveaway!

Just a short post tonight for I have some bad news.....the summer is over for me and this teacher goes back to work today. Waaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!!! Somebody hug me. sniff sniff.

It was so nice to post away and/or sit back with my coffee and read all your posts from my reader. It certainly was more fun than reading the news paper! So for kicks and giggles (?) Have a glimpse into my week ahead....

Those of you who are not teachers let me give you a realistic view of my first week back:

Future Reminders:

Staff Meeting with Superintendent: Monday, September 21 (an extra meeting after school we have to meet our new super)
Back to School Night: Wednesday, Sept. 30 (you know, the night the parents come and meet the teachers from 6-9pm, many teachers don't go home- meaning a 14 hour day)

First day for Staff:
Monday, August 31, 2009
8:00-8:30 a.m. – Breakfast- (bagels, fruit, etc) , PTA (speech), Distribution of Keys
8:30-9:15 a.m. – Introductions (Alert- the below mentioned WILL NOT take 45 minutes-BET!) Opening Remarks—Focus for the year: Rigor, Relationships, Relevance
Changes in TA (changes? uh oh- what does THIS mean?)
Testing Results (zzzzzzzzz)
Blackboard Changes,
Training and Expectations
Professional Development Opportunities,
Ideas (we are expected to decorate our doors this year with our college paraphernalia to encourage thoughts in students of going to college- I don't have anything left from my college years except for one ratty 21 year old sweatshirt- sigh),
GT Resources

9:15 a.m. Distribution of index cards—What does rigor mean to you? What does it or will it look like in your classroom? Please think, perhaps discuss with others and write a sentence or two. These cards due tomorrow, 9/1/09. (teachers get homework too!)

9:15-9:30 a.m. -- Break (when we are allowed to go to the bathroom)
9:30-11:00 a.m. -- Leadership Council to meet in Library (Continued Discussion of Next Steps Related to Rigor, Relationships, and Relevance) (this is all the leaders of each team, meeting to share stuff but it's really more of the principal talking)
9:30-11:30 a.m. -- The rest of staff will go to classrooms to begin to set up, etc. (my first two hours to start to unpack my room. Yes, unpack....I have to pack EVERYTHING in drawers, closets and store it won't be stolen over the summer- if a custodian leaves your door open from cleaning shampooing the carpets, your stuff is unprotected) I only have tables, chairs and my 'locked' desk in my room at the present. All the appliances, equipment, decorations, are all stowed away- it took me a week to pack it I have to unpack it as well as plan for my first week)
11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.—Lunch on your own. Teams are encouraged to eat together. (so any new staff can get acquainted with the old staff- they will be overwhelmed!)
1:30 p.m.-?— (notice no guarantees how long you get) All staff continue work in classrooms.
1:30 –2:30 p.m. -- New copier training: All administrative assistants, paraprofessionals 2:30—3:00 p.m. -- New copier training: Teaching Staff (we have to sign up for when we break away)
3:00—3:30 p.m. -- New copier training: Teaching Staff
3:30-4:00 p.m. -- New copier training: Teaching Staff (don't think for a minute our day ends @ 4, many of us stay much longer to get a jump start on our rooms. I usually stay until 7 or 8 only because all through the day other teachers keep popping their head in and interrupting your progress)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009
8:30—9:30 -- All staff meeting in Theater I. All staff to discuss specific ideas for next steps related to Rigor, Relationships, and Relevance
9:30--?-- Staff to work in classrooms, attend county meetings. (I go to another building across the county @ 12 to listen to my supervisor ramble and hand out a ream of paper until 4 pm- I usually am so exhausted from all these people speaking AT me....that I am BEAT- home to take a nap)

Wednesday, September 4 --
Attend county meetings (from 12-4 speaker, after speaker, powerpoints, workshops, box lunch...boring, boring, boring);
Work in Classrooms (from 8-11:45- if I have any energy left...I will go back to my classroom until 6 or 7)

Thursday, September 3 --
Attend county meetings;
Work in Classrooms 9-11:00 a.m. -- Sara Melendez, our Technology Support Specialist, will be here to help to set up grade books, Easy Grade Pro & eSchoolPlus, etc.
6 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. -- Ice Cream Social in the Cafeteria It is a great opportunity to meet parents and students. We welcome any help with serving ice cream! Your families are also invited to come. Please join the fun! (by now, I am dirty, grubby, needing a shower, tired....I still need time for my room and they let the kids roam the building, so I have to lock and cover the window in my door or students (mostly over the embarassment of my kids seeing me this way with no make up) or they will visiting off and on for over 2 hours!- sad)

Friday, September 4--
Work in classrooms 8:30-9:30 a.m.-- EGP Set-UP (Drop-In) Help Session (It is by the end of today that will determine if I have to come in again on Saturday.)

But what exactly does a teacher have to do to prep their my room?

Brace yourself.....

1. Reconnect my computer (yes all the wires). We have to constantly check out email for the week. People are too lazy to see you or most email. We normally do not get our class lists until Thursday, counselors are still working on them the week before school. What were they doing all summer? We have to import all those lists in our grading systems. We also have to set the calendars and categories for grading, etc.

2. We may get our homeroom list of kids by Mon. most likely Tues for we have to call each homeroom kid to welcome them. I have 8th graders, most all know me and how to get to my room....but I have to do this anyway!

3. I have 4 bulletin boards I need to cover and decorate. Two of them are 3ftX5ft and the other two are 3ftX7ft. I also have a showcase outside my room I have to fill.

4. In between those Bulletin Boards I have white barren walls that I need to cover with posters with varying messages about values, behavior, rules, etc. God forbid I use the same posters from last year....

5. I also have an adjoining 4 kitchen lab room that I will need to decorate as well. I will keep my sanity about putting the equipment back there with my students help later in Sept. They like seeing all the stuff and putting it where it goes, thank goodness.

6. Set up folders for 5 classes. Count, color coordinate and label.

7. Plan "get to know you activities" for the first days....we can't even start on my curriculum until next week (maybe) reason being, kids are pulled out and moved into my classes for about two weeks. "She does't want Art she asked for FACS....oh he can't have FACS because his parents wanted him to start Spanish this year.....We have to pull out him to be put in remedial reading instead....The PE classes are overcrowded we need to shift these 7 kids to your other class."

8. Unpack my desk and set out the things I need to function, stapler, hole punch, sharpener, printer, scissors, tape, clips, bands, post -its (no pencils or pens can be visible at any time for they are stolen from my desk- and I am NOT kidding) I swear kids must eat them for snacks!

9. Also I am a new teacher mentor: so it is up to ME to talk to this new teacher about the ropes (teaching and our school ways of doing things). Where to get posterboard paper, supplies, where the bathroom is, make sure they go to trainings, FYI about being an elective teacher, then I have to give advice for the rest of the year about classroom management. Did you know that when you work toward getting your teaching degree, colleges have NO COURSE regarding how to manage discipline? You have to figure that all out yourself. Most new teachers don't know the difference between being permissive vs nice; firm vs. mean; cool vs are master manipulators. I have 20 years of 'attempted manipulation' under my belt let's not forget the 18 years of MY OWN tricks of deception as a student....oh the stories I can tell how kids have 'tried' to push the blame onto others or won't accept responsibility.

Whadda think? Are you tired? I am and it's only the first day back....


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