Sunday, October 17, 2010


So, in the past I have talked about some of the difficulties but there are also many benefits of this job and experience. I have many areas of endorsement-Middle School Math, Science, Socials Studies, and Language Arts, K-12 reading plus my Elementary and Secondary English. Previously I have only taught 10-11th grade with just experiences in Elementary and Middle School. So when I applied for different jobs in the past I had not actually had much experience. After this job I will have actual teaching experience in Middle School Language Arts 6-8, High school English 9-11 and and Audited AP English. Plus, I will also have experience in teaching Middle School Social Studies 6-8 World History.

I have been lucky in the past where I have always gotten a job and had at least a month to a couple months to prepare for the most part. At my last job I did have another grade and classroom add only a week before school started but it was not too bad because nothing else really changed.  I never wanted to have a job where I had to move, prepare, and teach at the last minute.

Well, that happened with this job, and it was actually not too bad. I got this job but with trying to pack my house up, do paper work and tie up loose ends I was not able to move here and start until after school had already started. I handled it well and did not get too stressed because I knew they realized some of what it took for me to move and get settled and create lesson plans when I had little time and could not bring much with me. It has been over a month now, and I am finally all settled and have taught four full weeks. I am finally getting into a routine and people back home have been so helpful in sending things that I need over the e-mail to help me out. My students have been very understanding and helpful. Now I know that if it were to ever happen again I can handle it and not get super sick or totally lose it.

In my first teaching job I had one classroom. I remember older teachers at my first job telling me how lucky I was that I had my own room and did not to share, and that I was not a floating teacher. At my second teaching job I had two classrooms both years and had to travel back and forth between campuses (across town from each other) all except for one semester. I had to share a room both years at my second job. Well, here I am a floating teacher, and I have to share every room I am in and there is usually a teacher on their planning period when I am teaching in whichever room I happen to be in. In the room that I do have a desk I share it with other teachers so I pretty much have to haul all possessions and books with me every class. I am getting used to this. I always double and triple check to make sure I have everything with me for each class. I try not to go back to the classroom with the desk I use between classes unless I have too many books to carry.

The week before last was tough because I printed out grades to show the students their missing grades. It was hard if they had a question to not be able to get on the computers in the other rooms to show them or go back to the room with the computer I use. I do not want to haul my own laptop everyday so that nothing happens to it. I did talk to the principal and we got me set up as a user on one of the other computers so that when it is locked I am now able to log in. Another one still has a different program and can mess up the grades if I am not careful. There is also a room where neither of the computers are currently. So, I just try to do my best and meet with them at another time if it does not work to get on the computer in whatever room I am in.  This has made me appreciate having my own classroom even more but have taught me even more about preparedness and flexibility. I also don't really have a place to store things so I must take most things home with me and haul them back if I need to use it so I try to teach with the minimum of hauling but still do quality lessons.

Another thing we also don't have is overhead projectors or LCD projectors to hook up to computers. So everything that I don't copy off and want to write on the board I must do at the beginning of class (another reason to carry as much as possible and not run back to the other room between classes). I also have to rewrite the information if I use something similar between classes since I share the rooms. I remember back at my first job not wanting a overhead projector and it taking so long writing things down on the board and when I was given to option to change my mind I did so and it made things so much easier. Here I don't have that option and must do my best to write quickly but legibly. We do have two laptops with projectors for presentations but no one teacher can use it everyday for every class. We have to share and so use is limited only to student presentations.

I have always been used to inter-school e-mail for communication. Here I must track down whatever I need to talk to. This can be good in some ways since the communication is then in person but some teachers are harder to track down then others especially if there class is held in the computer lab, and I need to switch them for a few class periods so that I can have my students use it to type up essays.

Another thing I have always had access to it a grading program. Where all I had to do was plug in the assignments, weighting, and grades. The computer already had all students names in there and figured out the grades for me and printed out grade reports or report cards. Here I have to make a separate spreadsheets for each student and figure out each grade individually. It is quite time consuming, but it is teaching me another skill so that if something ever happened in a future school with a grade program not working, I now know how to do it the old fashion way.  We also have to go into each student's folder to enter the grades and enter comments plus turn in all the grades on paper as well. Again it takes lots of time but is another good skill that may be beneficial in the future.

Some people may read this and say, wow that is too bad. I look at is I am learning all these skills that will benefit me in the future. I am not saying that it is not hard sometimes. It certainly is, but I don't know what my future holds and there could be another job where all of this pays off and helps me in a crisis when other teachers who haven't gone through this will have no idea how to handle it. It also makes me more appreciative of the things I have had in the past and may have again in the future that makes my teaching job easier and smoother.

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