Saturday, August 28, 2004

Lesson Learned: I can translate my own handouts into Spanish! I just need all day to do it in.

The school is in a bit of turmoil at the moment. Most of the students have been placed in the Master Schedule, but we have more new students registering as we speak so come of the classes are compacted, so the Superintendent himself is taking this by the horns because our new principal (BTW-this is the first school he's ever been principal of) decided he couldn't deal with the pressure and finality of his word, so our new principal has been moved to another school, which leaves us without a principal on the first day of school, which is Monday. And as of Friday at 5:30 (when I left school, having arrived shortly after 7am-boy, am I dedicated!) we had no schedule.

Well, it doesn't affect what I'm teaching, just who and how many are in my classes. It would have been nice to get with the other teachers and discuss discipline and to make my seating charts, but I'm not going to sweat about it. I am more concerned by the fact that I won't have enough textbooks AGAIN! That really chaps my hide! I have about 160 students and only 63 books. *bleh* In fact, the other 8th grade classes are dealing with a similar situations. Seems last year's 7th grade class was large and no one thought to get more 8th grade books for this year.

Don't forget, school starts on Monday.

Oh, yeah, one more thing. The schools were all told they were getting new copy machines so not to order more supplies for the old ones, which they didn't. Well, 3 guesses as to what happened and what's going on. That is my excuse for not having my first day of school handouts done and why I'm working on them at home. It's not like I'm totally re-writing from scratch; one good thing about teaching both subjects last year is I'm able to re-use some stuff. But I don't have any Spanish versions of these particular handouts. It felt good to do it, but took a long time and a lot of brain cells dusting off cobwebs. Although I was able to get the words from an online dictionary, I had to conjugate them from memory. But they are all done!=:) Now to Kinko's tomorrow to make 160 copies of each! Hurray!

Did I mention that school starts
on Monday??

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Lesson Learned: NO matter how you slice, 4am is damn early.

Tim just left. He had to fly to Tampa Bay, FL to speak with some customers. Apparently, what they want their program to do will be launched in space. There was a bit of a scuffle at his work b/c neither Tim nor his other team members are US citizens. Fortunately, being a legal long-term resident was good enough for the company.

I decided to get up with him because today is the first official day back for teachers and staff at my school so I might as well get used to waking up at the smelly crack of dawn. Good thing I did, b/c I just got back from dropping him off at the airport. Seems he got a flat a couple of blocks from here and ran home, asking for a ride. I can't believe how busy our municipal airport was! The check in line was out the door!

Monday, August 23, 2004

Lesson Learned: Never trust a hairstylist who says, "Ooohhh...this is so cute!" while cutting your hair.

Well, on my way to the grocery store this morning, I walked by the neighborhood school and witnessed the First Day of School. These kids were all so cute, all dressed up in new clothes and clean faces. Some had flowers for their new teachers. *sigh* It made me look forward to my first day of school which is next Monday.

In the Back to School spirit, I got a haircut. Only one word for it: bleh! It is WAAAAY too short! I look like my aunt Martha! The only other women with this haircut are 40-50somethings with kids and grandkids! Tim says I look cute (which was the correct thing to say), kinda tomboyish. I don't want to look tomboyish! I wanted to look professional and active. Now I feel fat with a bad haircut.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Lessons Learned: Don't cook bacon while wearing a tank top. Ouch!
Don't take negative teachers seriously. It just brings you down before the school year starts, and who needs that?
Don't ask your computer engineer fiance how much he makes. Just accept the fact that he makes more than you due to society's skewed priorities.

OK-where to begin. Since talking to you, Tim and I went camping in the Panamint Mtns of Death Valley and hiked up Telescope Peak. It was great! We went from sea level to 8100' elevation, spent the night then hiked a 7 mi trail up another 3ooo' for some beautiful views and scenery. The hike up took us 6 hrs. It's amazing how slowly you operate in those conditions.

Next we went car camping in Oregon, spending 3 days in the Portland area. It was unusually hot for that time of year, but still very green and beautiful. Portland is one of the places we are thinking of buying a house.

Now, I have spent a couple of days at school getting ready for the new year. Don't tell my sister, but I am not getting paid for those days. Yes, there will be 3 inservice days next week before the first day of school, but we'll be in meetings, etc. and won't really have any time to set up our rooms. Since the custodial staff did their annual deep cleaning in each room, I had to rearrange the desks into my comfortable flight path and I moved my extra teacher desk (that does move) next to my real teacher desk (that doesn't move), creating a "No-go Zone," which I hope will keep my personal and professional belongings a bit more out of reach.

I've had lunch with some of my teacher friends, and a few of them just brought me down. I don't know; maybe it's because I'm still new and teaching (or, rather, being employed) is novel and I am still idealistic, even at my age, but I want to look at the positives...wait...I know there are positives somewhere....

...Oh, yeah, like molding and shaping young minds...seeing the lightbulb go on over their heads...watching a struggling student succeed on a project/test...turning them on to science!...working with a group of people who believe in what they do.... That sort of stuff. Not focus on the fact that this year's 8th graders scored very poorly on the state standards test, or that we won't have enough rooms for everyone until October, or the fact that we have a new principal, or that we don't know what we are teaching yet and school starts week after next, or that I may not have enough books again this year.... OK, maybe I should concern myself about these things but I don't want to harp on them. I did discover something I never would have believed of myself; I don't know how to utilize my bulletin board space. I used to laugh at articles I'd see about bulletin boards, thinking they told elementary school teachers how to make a theme or change the borders, but I'm now inclined to see the wisdom of their ways. I humbly apologize.

Am feeling better. I started to write because I was upset. About what I've already listed, but also because I asked Tim what his salary was and was shocked. How could he be making so much more money than myself? I have just as much education as he does, at comparable schools (ie: one of the best undergrad for marine science, one of the best credential programs in the state) and am doing a job that is just as important as his if not more so, but he is earning about 20-25K more than me. That just isn't fair. Well, next year half of it will be legally mine. hee..hee..hee (wicked giggle). But, seriously, that was the last straw. I just wanted to enjoy being a teacher, but I can't bury my head in the sand. I just have to learn to let it all roll off my back.

Tomorrow I'm going in to put up my posters. I found triplicates of my posters, so I'm going to post the spanking new stuff and put bright purple paper on my walls. So, there!