Well the first day of school came and all my good intentions to blog about this experience went out the window. Its not the same thing, but I want to take the time to write down what I can remember of these past five weeks, not for others as much as for myself when I read this at the beginning of next year.
After 3 days of teacher induction, we had Monday off and then Tuesday-Thursday was teacher prep week. Lots of meetings, some worthwhile, lots of speeches, lots of awards, lots of “Let’s make this the best year ever!!!!!!!!!!!!” Is it sad that I kind of enjoy these pep rallies? I cringe at pep rallies for a specific person or cause because I see emotion being manipulated for a certain goal, but there’s really no downside to “the best year ever!!!!!” It’s both positive enough and vague enough to be harmless.
Being slightly OCD, I spent my teacher prep week cleaning my room instead of preparing materials. To be fair, the room was pretty dirty – layers of dust that were thick enough to reach the furry stage when they look like they could be petted. I cleaned off every surface on both desks, the computer, the main cabinet, and the filing cabinet – inside and outside. I also had some fun “discovering” the supplies left behind by the previous teacher that I could hoard, squirrel-like, for when my yearly alloted supply ran out – whiteboards, markers, filing supplies, etc. And, I pushed the desks and computer around back and forth several times before deciding where to put everything, which was quite a bit of exercse.
I also got 3 posters made for my room: A Class Rules poster, a poster describing what all work should look like, and a poster with a saying I came up with this summer that I still haven’t put up :-/ I’ll upload pics soon. I took them to the librarian and asked for them to come back soon, and she was very nice about it.
Oh yes – and this week was also interrupted by car troubles. My parents had just helped me to find and buy a new (used) car. It tore my heart to give up my 1994 Toyota Corolla [with 120,000 miles, broken door handles, broken power locks, broken power windows, leaking power steering fluid, no roof covering other than foam which drifted down if you touched the ceiling, a broken taillight, a plastic right-hand side view mirror, and a missing headlights switch – such character!] but it wasn’t reliable enough for the 54 mile round-trip commute. So Gunther was parked and put on sale and we bought Gunter 2.0, a 2000 Toyota Corolla. Promptly after we paid the cost, the dealership packed up and disappeared without transferring the title, so I had to skip Friday morning meetings to sit at the MVD and file a title complaint. The next day the dealer called promising to work everything out but now he’s disappeared again, so my car is still not legally mine and under a temporary license only, as of September 7th. When I returned to school on Saturday I found that the instructional specialist had talked to the principal about letting teachers into their classes Saturday and he had, after asking the teachers, agreed to let us in until 2pm. So I also spent Saturday at the school, cleaning and putting up what few posters I had, until 2:30 when maintenance frog-marched me out.
My the end of this week was also complicated by the fact that R (my fiance) and I were house-sitting for a couple we regularly do this for, taking care of two cats and one very needy dog. Usually I love having a house to ourselves but this week was very stressful knowing I couldn’t have easy access to all my “stuff” at home. I didn’t want to stay at home alone since the rest of my family including the dog was vacationing at Rocky Point and I knew going home after my first few days to an empty house was NOT a good idea. So after throwing, frankly, a temper tantrum about R double-booking his time again, I calmed down and we moved a large part of my belongings into the house. It is actually less than half the distance to my school than my house so that helped my nerves about being perpetually late.
So that was my teacher prep week – lots of cleaning, lots of moving, and lots of MVD sitting.