Tuesday, July 19, 2011


At long last, I finally got to see my new school today! Well, just the office area, since the classrooms are still being finished... but still! I am struck by how fresh, open, airy, and NEW everything is. My school in New Orleans was a beautiful old building with hardwood floors and moldings and everything - which was amazing in its own way. However, i inherited crud from previous teachers and never really got an organizational system going from the ground up. Add to that the fact that I am not naturally organized, and you end up with a hot mess of a classroom. (Seriously. Ask anyone I worked with, parents, and/or students. It was bad at times.)

So - of course I am THRILLED with the prospect of walking into my classroom next Monday (6 days! Yay!) and having nothing there. In fact, I can't wait. Other than instructional materials and a minimum of furniture, there won't be ANYONE ELSE'S STUFF! Add to that the fact that Hubs won't be at work next Monday and can help me unload boxes, and you've got one excited teacher!

I was at school this morning because I volunteered, along with several other teachers, to help with class placement for the coming year. This is, in a nutshell, tedious. Last week we developed a design for a "placement card" that would follow each child through their years at the school and have all essential information - birthday, gender, ethnicity, academic needs and achievement - on one handy sheet. The job of today was taking a variety of lists and compiling the information onto the cards. Since the kids are coming from all different schools, we weren't able to include much academic information other than ESL or special needs, but at least we got an idea of the school's makeup.

Every year, I start thinking very early about who the kids are that will come into my life in August. It's bad enough when you are staying at the same school and start "spying" on the second graders around March. I have been wondering even more about my new school, since the kids are coming in brand new. Today, I got some answers. I learned that there will be 101 third graders. There will be 64 girls and 37 boys. 62 of them are African-American, 22 are white, 2 are Asian, 4 are multiethnic, and 11 are Hispanic (including 5 whose first language was Spanish). There will be 4 students with extensive special needs and 15 who are academically gifted.

Without looking through the data, however, there are lots of things that I know. I know that there will be artists, mathematicians, authors, readers, football players, swimmers, drama queens, sleuths, big brothers, little sisters, great helpers, and pains in the neck in my class. There will be students who are best friends and students who don't get along. They will mostly be nice, but a few meanies will always make their way into the bunch. Many of them will have a lot more going on in their lives than I will ever know about. Some of them will NEVER remember what they need to do, no matter how often you tell them. Some of them will NEVER study their multiplication facts, no matter how often they fail facts quizzes. Some of them will ace every test without ever studying.

I know that on a daily basis, I will have to wear many hats. I will be an educator, cheerleader, social director, coach, nurse, shoe tie-er, disciplinarian, scientist, psychologist, and expert at every subject under the sun. This jack-of-all-trades quality is the number one reason why I love my job. I can't WAIT to get started.


  1. Thanks, Megan! I'm glad. I think working with YOU is going to make me happy too! We need to get together and share what we're doing to prepare for the year.