Thursday, August 23, 2012

Out of the chute

So this year is a big step for me.  I left a school with people I loved, students I loved, and where my reputation preceded me with students that didn't even know me.  Even though I was a little burnt out when I left, my time there was the most formative of my 12 years of teaching as far as becoming a better teacher.

At my new school, I'm a newbie. I went in the cafeteria today and had to figure things out.  I'm occasionally not sure where the stairs are and I have yet to get a key to get in my room, as opposed to having a janitor's set worth at my old school.  Almost everything is different here for me, I'm the new guy, I have no reputation to fall back on and it's no longer a guarantee that I'm the one trying really weird stuff.  I have 4 preps, 1 of which I've never taught before and is an AP class, and another that I taught so long ago I think it was 3 iterations of curriculum ago.

All of that said, I love it.  Cutting myself loose from the sure thing and instant respect at my old school has made me really know that I have to get after it each and every day.  On every other day I don't start teaching until 11am because of plan, but I'm there at 7am in any case, and I work frenetically that whole time.

I'm at a school that has 1:1 technology and we use it every single day.  The only paper I've taken up has been signed syllabi and even half of those were sent in digitally.  I'm working with students every day to fully utilize the tech we've been gifted with.  For the past two days our network has struggled under the load of doubling the student population from last year.  So in one of my classes today we had no access at all.  No big deal, I made a few copies, but rather than them writing on them, they took pics, converted to pdf and wrote on that the same way we've been doing for the past week.  We've done new stuff that I borrowed, stuff that we made up and some things that were decided on the fly.  It's exhilarating!

I have some issues, some just with trying to generate my video content for two new classes while trying to wrap the curriculum into my head at the same time.  But wow, it is nice to get out of the chute and start to limber up the creativity.  I can't wait to get around the first bend and really hit my stride!

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