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Wednesday, August 3, 2022

How my First Week of School is Going




Well, the new school year is certainly starting off interesting.
It finally got me.
Or perhaps, it got me a second time. My symptoms this time around are almost identical to the flu symptoms I got in March 2019. Horrible sore throat, fatigue, etc. Only this time I am not dehydrated thank goodness. That was miserable in 2019.

I hope that you all had a wonderful summer. Ours consisted of a lot of outdoor time, some kid camp time, and our last trip was one to the Big Island of Hawaii. Amazing summer days with our kids. 

On Monday, (when I thought I was just "tired" from the flight and still testing negative) I did get to visit my classroom and set up/organize a little so at least I did get to have that. Here's a "BEFORE" how my classroom looked at the beginning of last year, and then the "AFTER" is the set-up for this year.





I reconfigured the desk because I found it was hard to work with students on a 1:1 basis the other way (and virtually impossible in the classroom like near their desk because of the size constraint of the actual room).

Also, when people drop in to have check-ins or meetings, they will have a place to sit.

Due to my COVID positive test, I am standing by to see if I am actually able to attend the first day of school. The last time I was unable to really hold class on the first day of school was in 2017 when I walked up to campus and all of my things were outside of my room like a mad ex had gotten angry and hurled everything outside, lol. It turns out that my room had FLOODED due to a faulty AC. Definitely a teacher nightmare that lingered for weeks (I had to hold class in the library).

Luckily, because of Zoom, I am able to listen in on some of the department affairs going on which I think is so extremely important. 

As I await the first week of school, I do like to spend this time to think about my goals for the upcoming school year. Here they are...

1. Teach by "Surprise". For the last two years, I have learned so much about how the element of surprise can delight and engage students. I've learned this from my co-teacher and also my daughter's piano teacher. Simply having something new on their desk when they walk in, or trying a wholly new strategy of learning is a creative way of teaching that I haven't tapped into as much. I would like to focus on "surprising" my students as much as possible this year and I hope to document this here.

2. Quarterly Assessments, Writing Benchmark, Writing Conferences. Say no more. The Writing Conference is such a powerful tool....to be able to sit 1:1 with a student and discuss their writing with them individually is invaluable and also helps build rapport.

3. Send good emails to students. Praise students in my own way by sending kind notes, and sending kind notes home about student progress

4. And then, a goal that is always on my list from year to year is to build trust and routine with the Instructional Assistant whom I work with. I am very challenged with delegating (don't like to burden others...I know this is a common teacher feeling). But I want to get better at it for the sake of efficiency and teamwork. 

What are your goals for this upcoming school year? Would love to hear what you as an educator are working on, whatever stage you might be in. Teacher journeys are the best kind.

Talk soon,

- Kristine

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How my First Week of School is Going

Well, the new school year is certainly starting off interesting. It finally got me. Or perhaps, it got me a second time. My symptoms this ti...