Monday, July 09, 2007

Back to Work!

Well, my vacation went by too quickly.

Nine days ago I finished the first session of summer school and had a nice break to look forward to. Last night I couldn't go to sleep and couldn't sleep well in anticipation of heading back. I wondered who I would have back in the class and who would be gone. I wondered if I would be able to get my new classroom (we have to change classrooms due to construction projects) set up quickly. I wondered how I would get the 100+ pounds of materials and books up the stairs to my new classroom. Just when you need to get to sleep to get back to getting up to 5:30 AM you find 1,000 things going through your head to prevent you from doing just that. The long and the short of it is that everything went fine. None of the poorly-behaved students came back and most of the well-behaved students did. I was directed to an elevator to get the materials up the stairs and there was time to set up before class because there were still students registering first thing this morning.

It occurs to me that a few people reading this don't know what it's like to get started teaching a session of summer school, so let me go over the finer points:
  • You don't know whose classroom you're going to be using, so you have to bring your own textbooks or acquire them from the department chair of the host school.
  • Since you don't have access to your own classroom you have to bring everything with you that you think you'll need: Stapler, pencils, sharpener, dry erase boards/markers/erasers, paper, rulers, protractors, reward candy, file folders, etc.
  • You may not have a working printer for your computer, so don't count on that. Last session my printer never worked, so I had to save my documents on my jump drive and print them out in the media center or at home. This session, my printer works! Woohoo!
  • There is continuity with the students who were with you in the first session but you have to break in new students who don't know you, so you basically have to start your whole spiel over again, despite the fact that more than half of the class has heard it already. That's okay, though, because it's likely that half of them were asleep the first time.
  • When you leave, everything should be back the way it was when you got there. Leave the classroom as the teacher expects to find it. It's the least you can do.

The nice thing about the session is that it will go quickly. After 17 days of the second session I get 12 days of vacation, including weekends. I'm really looking forward to that!

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