Thursday, September 16, 2010

Humility Lessons

BRILLIANT and beautiful piece at GothamSchools about building respect and collegiality among generations of teachers. You must read this.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

School Aides Rock My World

What is it about school aides that makes them so awesome? I don't know. Just like teachers, these folks do NOT get paid enough for the fantastic and essential work they do. And they work hard. On those crazy days where it's 2:00 and you haven't eaten lunch yet, your school's aides probably haven't either.

The school aides at TMS1 were always bright spots of sanity, efficacy, and humor in a school that is, from what I'm hearing from my former colleagues, continuing to career off the rails. And the school aides at TMS2? You ain't seen nothing yet is my general impression of these people. My early favorite is one who consoled an angry parent over the phone about a MetroCard issue--effectively, from the sound of things--while giving a lost student directions and filling out paperwork for me to get some new tech equipment. This lady is good.

Just had to say that today,.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Proud Papa of a Ferret

So I alluded to this kid in my post at NYC Educator today. He's so awesome that he definitely deserves his own post. So here it is, my first kid story of the 2010-11 school year. (Please note that, if you're new here, all kid stories are posted with names and identifying details changed to protect the child's privacy, and that I do not in this post or any other identify my school or even my borough. Kthx.)

Will is one of my English students at TMS2. He sits in the back because he was a late addition to the roster and that was all the room I had left when he came in. But he's quickly made himself into a rising star in the class.

"Miss Eyre," he greeted me on Monday, "how was your weekend?"

"Great, Will," I said. "How was yours?"

"It was rough, to be honest," he said, shaking his head. "My ferret got into all my stuff 'cause my brother left her out and then didn't, like, supervise her, you know? That's what ferrets be doin'. They get into stuff if you don't watch them."

I was somewhat taken aback by this tale--it's just not what you expect to hear from your typical high school boy, absorbed as he so often is by girls, sleep, and sports. But I tried to play it cool. "How much damage?" I asked.

"Aw, no real damage," he said. "Some papers torn up and stuff. Nothing major."

"Does she do this a lot?"

"Naw, not usually! When you watch her she's real good and cute and stuff. But you leave her alone, you know, she's just like a kid. Does crazy stuff."

Will's first writing piece is also about the ferret. I haven't read it yet, only looked over his shoulder while he was writing it. But, as you can imagine, I'm looking forward to it.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Oof! (Welcome Back)

My calves, my eyes, my back...everything in my body is like, "Oof! So this is what it feels like to do a full day's work!" Yeah, we're all back for real now. Kiddies were in today. Rules were explained, icebreakers were endured, bulletin boards were covered, room-sharing arrangements were (or probably are still being) ironed out. One down, 180 to go.

My first day was pretty good. My classes seem really nice. Of course, I've already pinpointed a few darlings who should NOT sit together, but overall, the kiddies (and the adults) were on their respective best behaviors. My room looks nice.

That's about all I have to say because I'm EXHAUSTED. But I'll have more to say soon.

BTW: My posting schedule at NYC Educator is back to Tuesdays and Thursdays for the fall starting Tuesday, September 14.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Night Before the Night Before the First Day of School

Whew, and welcome back! Did we all have a nice summer? Yes? Good. Mine was all right. To be honest, it kind of went downhill in August. I can't deal with the heat and The Morton School v.2.0 (to be referred to hereafter as TMS2) didn't send me my curriculum materials until, uh, a couple of days ago (yes, despite repeated badgering), so Miss Eyre got good and bored. I admit it. I read twentysome books and watched a LOT of movies and went to a couple of museums and such. But most days it was too hot for me to feel going outside. So, anyway, the point is:

I am glad summer is over.

Yes, you read that right. I am glad summer is over. Glad, glad, glad. I want to go back to work. I'm itching to get to know my new students and colleagues. I'm exciting about trying the new things I was afraid to try at TMS1. I am not even dreading tomorrow's day full of meetings because I really need to know how my new school works. I confessed earlier today that so far TMS2 seems a little too good to be true. The colleagues and administrators I've met so far just seem too pleasant, reasonable, and helpful. The way things are done seems a little too self-explanatory and trusting of teachers. This is the DOE. I know this is far too much to expect.

So I'm going into tomorrow with very low expectations, but into Wednesday with only the highest. I'm already just about ready to go for Wednesday.

And if you're not totally annoyed with me by now and you've kept reading up to this point, good luck this week!