Monday, October 1, 2012

34, 33,.....23 Kids!! I Have Survived...Time to Get After It!!

Can I just say I can not believe today was October 1st!!!!!  I have not posted since early August. I do feel guilty that I have neglected my blog and the blogging world. Last time I checked, everyone was buying school supplies and super excited for a brand new year to begin. Now, we are gearing up for Halloween. And yes, it is even Christmas in some of the stores!!

Anyway, the reason why I have been absent...Where do I start?

The year started with 34 second graders...Yes, I did say 34. I must say I did freak out just a bit. But I had to stay somewhat calm because my new teaching partner was coming from transitional kindergarden where she only had 17. Lucky girl...ha ha...not anymore!!

So I did what any veteran teacher would do...I  put my big girl panties on and decided to be strong. 34 kids... piece of cake. It would only be 6 more kids then last year.What's one more table group?

Are you kidding??? Even though I had been doing this for 17 years I was actually a little nervous. The reality was... where are the extra 6 desks going to fit? How am I ever going to meet one on one with 34 students? Do they realize this is crazy?  Are they willing to support or contribute to my Mr. Grey Goose fund? ( Oh, yes, something is going to have to calm me down after a day teaching "thirty-four" 7 and 8 year olds) Do they not realize once you go over 30 everything becomes organized chaos??
But poor Jessica (new teaching partner), I am glad I am not in your shoes. Second year teaching, new grade level, and it's double your class size from last year.

Yes, I do put on a happy face and be brave for Jessica. When in all reality I just want to tell her... Run!!! Get as far away from here as you can!!! I must say she was a good sport. Maybe it's a good thing when you really don't know what your getting yourself into!!!!

So it is the first day of school and guess what??? There are only 33 kids that show up! Yes, it is one less kids, but OMG...33 second graders is a lot!! It goes pretty well. The first week is not too is the "Honeymoon" period. Oh, I forgot to mention.. we have the superintendent's grandson, the president of the school board's twin girls, the secretary's daughter, and 2 teacher's kids all in second grade. All are in my class except for 1 twin. They were split. One in my class and one in Jessica's. I know...nothing like a little pressure to make sure you do an awesome job!!!

Fast forward...week 2!!! The honeymoon is over!! I am exhausted!! I have bruises all over my thighs from running into the corners of the desks! I have to repeat directions over and over because they just do not feel it is important to listen to directions. Actually, they just are used to having the directions repeated a million times because who listens the first time in a class size of 33/34. How am I ever going to survive the next nine months???

Well, lucky for Jessica and I things were about to change!  Since before school started, they had debated on whether or not to hire and additional second grade teacher. The reason they chose not to was budget...or should I say lack of budget!!! A little background on my school. It  is very small. We are a 2 school district with a total population of 570 give or take a few. We do not get a lot of funding
and I am amazed are doors are still open. Every year we have to be pretty creative on how we are going to survive on less and less. I am so amazed at what our District people do to keep us going.They truly are fabulous people who want the best for the staff and students.

Anyway, to make a long story short...a parent survey went out to see what the parents thought about hiring a new teacher. Let me remind you this is only beginning of week 3.

Survey results:

They all thought it was great! That we were handling it. They would love smaller class sizes, but they didn't want their kids to be moved. It would be great to have someone just come in and pull groups out all day.

My response: Are you kidding? Have you even stepped foot into my classroom? You want someone to pull kids out all day about total disruption!!!

So we had a school board meeting and one parent showed up. Board voted to hire a new teacher. Yippee!! Two days later, I am sitting with Jessica and our principal  interviewing 13 candidates. Eight straight hours of listening to the same 22 questions being asked. BORING, EXHAUSTING Super fun!!!Not to mention the shock on my face at what people wear to interviews!! Is it really ok to interview in flip flops and sunglasses on your head?? It is an interview not a trip to the beach!!!

Possible candidate is asked to come back next day to teach a half hour lesson in both classes. In the mean time...after the long day of interviews...we now have a parent meeting with all of the second grade families to update them on what is happening. I am super pumped!!

Our superintendent, who is also our school principal, leads the meaning while Jessica and I place ourselves somewhere on the outskirts of the crowd. He is giving them all the updated information. Of course, at the right moment I get up and give my input on the situation...33 down to 23...It is a no brainer. We are going to be able to better meet the needs of the kids. We are a team!! It was so much better than how I am explaining it right now. However, I did get the sympathy oohs and aahhs!!!
but let's be honest this post is super long as it is so I have to spare all the great details.

Next day (Wednesday)...candidate teaches lesson and Jessica goes home sick because she has 102 degree fever; we offer candidate job; she comes back Thursday and subs for Jessica who is still home sick; Jessica and I divide our 2 classes into 3 classes (that's a whole other blog post); Jessica is back and class lists our posted Friday after we have left the campus; we all meet new teacher on Sunday to set up classroom; and Monday all 3 second grade classes begin!!! WE DID IT!!Now I am now sick and try to fight it, but go home right after school on Wednesday and stay home Thursday.


I am now beginning week 3 of teaching 23 kids!! I love it!! It is AMAZING!! I can not believe what I am able to get down!! I feel great!!  So many things to share!! Hopefully, I haven't bored you to death and you will check back in tomorrow!! Off to bed!! I am going to Common Core training tomorrow!


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