apple for the teacher

new classroom, new kids, new schedule, new school. so much has changed and yet so much feels exactly the same as it did 3 years ago when i was in my first school. as of yesterday afternoon i've met every one of my new students. i've probably learned about 10% of their names. seeing them for 42 minutes 2x a week doesn't leave enough time for icebreakers and get to know yous. i'm of the belief that they must be kept busy, extremely busy, as idle hands make much chatter. and chatter they have, through the first day of surveys and contact forms, name cards and overviews.

and they all want to know about my tattoos. what's that, an apple miss? why do you have a tattoo of an apple, miss? miss, did you get an apple tattoo because you like apples? and my favorite, my name is brandon, but you can call me stallion. not about tattoos but unique.

i have a ton of dianas, including one dayhana, a bunch of stevens, a chiken, and big handful (at least 5) of chubby franciscos. the inside schools profile is pretty much spot on. what the school lacks in diversity, it makes up for in structure. kids who get in trouble throughout the day have to attend community service in the afternoon with the dean, where they pick up all of the paper recycling bins and sort the paper for pickup. each class carries a section sheet so the teacher can take notes on overall or individual issues or greatness. the homeroom teacher is a defense line to shape kids up, and anything that can't be handled there goes over to the dean. it's a nice tight little ship. no advisory period, but what good does that do anyway? the academics are tough, many kids attended summer school.

my lab is enormous, emacs and ibook g4s. i haven't had a chance to run all the updates and customize them to how i want them yet but i'm getting there, fighting printers and permissions all the way. i'm learning a ton about mac osx, which was the goal all along. i'm learning about parental controls, which, while cumbersome, are better than windows vague lockdown, though still pretty concise.

nobody's cursed me out, nobody's cursed at all in my classroom. i heard a student say shut up to someone else, but i let them know that kind of language doesn't fly. a few of them already have gmail, blogs, and most know their way around office. they're all obsessed with myspace.

overall, i'm happy. at least 4 staff members swung by my room around 3:15 yesterday to make sure i was coming to happy hour. things are going so well for d, that she even came and met me with eddie! imagine, d, willingly volunteering to WALK TO A BAR on a friday afternoon AND COME IN! it's like hell has frozen over.

d's school is across the street from where we live. the proximity really helps her anxiety. her kids are angels, self motivated, from good families, etc. the school is tight, no nonsense, and they don't have any because the kids are so well behaved. d is another person this year. comes home from work happy and relaxed. doesn't just want to crawl into bed. i couldn't be happier for her, and for me. i knew she'd love teaching. (she's been doing [un]glorified crowd control for the past 5 years) and so far it seems her kids really like her. nobody's called her a fucking dyke, then apologized for calling her out like that. nobody's tried to throw anything at her, and when she puts a do-now on the board, her kids actually do it. she says she feels like a real teacher. it makes me so happy to know she's in such a better place. it's good for us.

eddie's been dealing with the schedule change just fine. no accidents, just a little excitement in the evenings. jack is starting to get more bold with him, hiding under the chaise and sneak attacking when eddie isn't looking. which, of course, sends eddie into a frenzy where he starts screeching about the monster under the couch. jack giggles to himself and slinks away.

i'm cutting my hair again tomorrow. i'm going to keep it this way for a while. there's a good amount of gay teachers on staff and the kids don't seem to hate, so i figure the school community is bit more open and tolerant than my old school, where fear ruled the projects and you had to justify your existence there daily.

thanks for everyone's support. i think it's going to be a good year.


dp said...

let's not forget how all the chairs get put up at the end of the day and the only litter on the floor is a pencil. a sharpened pencil. xoxox

Alexandra said...

Hey, sounds like you had a good start to back to school. You hear so many horror stories about what goes on in US schools, it's nice to hear good things.

Meanwhile, hope you're enjoying the weekend.

anne said...

YaY! I'm so happy for you both!