Friday, July 13, 2012

Feels like the first time...again!

This isn't my first year teaching, not my first year in this grade, not my first year with our principal, not my first year with the people on my team.  So, why do I feel like a first year all over again?  Perhaps it's because it will be my first year without my teammate, Brandy, *tear*.  Perhaps it's because it is my darling child's first year in school.  Perhaps it's because it will be my first time with a new class in two years (I looped last year).  I just can't put my finger on exactly what is causing it, but I feel this undercurrent of panic every single time I think about school.  I feel lost.

Now that, that's off my chest, I'm going to run through some ideas I've been toying with for this Feels-Like-My-First-Year-After-Three-Years school year.   I am really excited about some of these ideas.  The Homework Bingo, for instance, I think is going to be great.  Kids have a lot of demands on them that we don't understand.  We can't be sure what their home life is like.  Working in a school district with such a low socio-economic status has opened my eyes.  Parents can't always be there to help with homework.  Sure, some of them just won't take the time.  However, many others have to work.  Many also just can't help with the homework because they don't understand it.  Homework is meant to be for practice, right?  Yet, what point is there in practicing the wrong way?  So, I thought about the other idea behind homework, purpose.  It is meant to be purposeful.  Not everything that has purpose is academic.  There is purpose in exercise, which our youth undoubtedly need today.  There is purpose in family time.  There is purpose in just showing kindness.  So, I devised this unconventional Homework Bingo.
Homework Bingo

Every year, I start out by telling the kiddos about me. Who doesn't?  As much as they enjoy it, I've found that my presentation is lacking.  So, after searching on Pinterest one night, I realized I was bombarded by those "Keep Calm" posters.

I also realized that I found myself giggling at certain ones because they totally describe me or someone I know.  Enter genius idea!  Why not introduce myself through those "Keep Calm" posters?  So, I put together this presentation (please note than many of the images didn't transfer when I uploaded it to my Google Docs, so use your imagination).  Then, I thought I could let the kids make their own poster (one to three) to introduce themselves.  If the world were perfect, I would take them to the computer lab to get on this site, make their own poster, and upload them to our Moodle page to share.  However, I doubt their internet permissions forms will have been processed by that time.  :(

Many more ideas, but that's all I have energy for now.  I have to start working in my room soon!  Perhaps that's another reason I feel like a first year.