The following a post I wrote on my personal blog about why love teaching at my school. I haven’t written much lately, so I thought you’d like a little peek into what I’m up to.
I haven’t been able to stop thinking about how much I love teaching at SMHS this week. I have been so blessed by my students and coworkers and just had to share some of the highlights of the week.
I have one student (a 9th grader in Dance I) who has had a major injury every week of school. He came back to school today after being in the hospital all day yesterday as a result of two stab wounds. He came limping into class, but had a great attitude and always participates as much as his doctors notes will allow. After class, I started talking with him and the two other boys in the class and had the opportunity to encourage them that gang life and the drug world do not pay off. One of the guys told me he figured that out for himself after witnessing a drive by shooting. I’m so glad I’m able to have serious conversations with them so early in the school year!
Another reason to be thankful is the new way I have been able to relate to students. Since I am coaching the dance team, I have a lot of time to spend with my students. I have been getting to know them on a much deeper level than last year. Two of the girls have been extremely open with me and we have already had several conversations about deep “real life” topics. I have been so thankful for the opportunity to be involved in these kids lives more than I ever could if I were only in a core-curriculum classroom. I have worked hard to be transparent and show them my personality in order to be a mentor for those who need one.
Lastly, I am so thankful for all my students and their hard work. They keep me giggling all the time and I look forward to every moment with them. Here are some photos I took from our assembly two weeks ago.
It was spirit week this week and the Homecoming theme was HOLLYWOOD! I’ve included pictures of me all dressed up and thought it would be fun for you to guess what the spirit week days were.
We even danced to The Lion King
Those tights have sturrups on the bottom and are authentic '80s.
Yes, that's purple eye shadow.
Time to start guessing!
This year is a far cry from last year! I know the basic procedures of the start of school, I have my classroom management in place already, I actually have a reputation at the school, and I know where I want my curriculum to head before I even teach it!
It’s been a crazy two weeks – I’ve been rather sick, so it’s been difficult to have enough energy to teach the way I want to. I am teaching four dance classes (at least I’m getting regular exercise!) and one physics. The physics class started out with 43 Physics H students and 8 AP students (yes, 51 kids crammed in my room – it was literally standing room only!). We did some scheduling adjustments and now I have 18 AP students.
Which means I only have 10 AP books! I hate to waste paper, but I’ll have to be copying the first few chapters until we can get new books. We’re doing a quick review of unit conversions, significant digits, etc. before we do two quick labs to set up standard deviation and lab report procedures.
Then it’s on to the start of Dynamics & Kinematics – woot!
I think it’s now safe to announce my impending classroom changes. I am very excited about what’s about to happen this fall!!
The first piece of exciting news is that I am starting an AP Physics program this year. It will be a bit of a challenge since we only have a handful of students ready and the class will be half honors and half Advanced Placement. Bring it on!!!
The other new adventure is that I will be running the Dance Department at school! This will include two sections of Dance I and two sections of Dance II. I will also be advising and choreographing for the Dance Team (more of a dance crew – hip hop – and less of a squad) as well as overseeing the spring dance concert!
I will still be blogging about the challenges and highlights of starting an AP program, but I will also be putting efforts into developing young artists, so please forgive me in advance if posts become few and far between!
Less than a month until school starts and I’m soaking it in! Hubby and I are heading to Yosemite and other California locations soon for a much needed vacation!
I have thoroughly enjoyed the summer with lots of relaxation and travel. I’ve mostly been busy with my photography and Etsy business. It’ll be back to the grind soon enough :)
Hope you’re having a great summer!
P.S. If you’re interested in my photography, I’m celebrating my birthday with a 50% off sale! Just use BIRTHDAY50 at checkout.
If you know teachers still looking for a job, please pass this on to them!!
St John Mary International School in Saraburi, Thailand is hiring 5 elementary positions and a few middle school teachers, as well as high school positions in Math, Spanish Language, and Social Studies. School is open from August to June. There are about 750 students enrolled, most of whom are Thai, but school is conducted in English.
The salary is 50,000 baht ($1,669.73) per month as well as a housing allowance and travel expenses.
If you are interested, contact me or contact the school directly. If you contact the school, let them know you heard about the position through a friend of George McBride (he is a friend of mine living in Thailand). If you know anyone who may be interested, please pass this info along!
I decided early in the year that I wanted to recognize each student for something at the end of the year. The awards were based on personality, character, and academic traits. I’ll be writing a post soon about the award titles and explanations.
After giving each student their award, I took a class picture so I can forever remember my first students :)
This class had its ups and downs; lots of big personalities as well as students who made better and worse choices. They may have driven me crazy, but they always kept me laughing!!
This class was so dependable. They may have been mostly distracted seniors, but they were always involved in class discussions. It was really fun to be able to connect with such a small group and I am really hoping they keep in touch!
My honors students…these kids worked really hard this year. I am so proud of them; some started the year with no self confidence and ended up sticking with it and surviving the year. I’m glad some of these kiddos are juniors and I can see them around school next year!
This class had me on my toes all year. In September, I would not have been surprised to see any number of them hanging from the ceiling – about half of them were in cahoots with one another and they drove me crazy!! Somewhere around the middle of the year they became almost pleasant and I can honestly say I’ll miss them. I think we came to a point of mutual respect. There were also a few students in the class that started the year expecting to fail and behaved accordingly; by the end of the year, they had made vast improvements and (I hope) gained self confidence.
This class had the broadest range of personalities and attitudes. We had a hard time focusing at the end of every day, but we always had a good time doing it! No matter what the circumstances, this class could always laugh!
I am so thankful for all that I’ve learned this year as a teacher and all the students I have gotten to meet and work with. I’m sort of feeling like a new parent: I don’t know how I could ever love my second year of students as much as the first, we’ll just have to wait and see!