Be patient… I’m new to this…I’m sure I’ll figure it out as I go along! Til then, I shall natter, I think my friends might agree it’s one of the things I’m extremely good at.
If you haven’t read my tiny blurb about myself, that’s okay, I don’t judge. I’m 26, female, Albertan, and I’m a first year teacher crashing through life in an entirely unfamiliar environment. 60+ job applications sent out over summer (post-grad) and early fall; I didn’t recieve a single response until my principal called me for an interview. Less than a week later and I was falling head first into the biggest mess I could have imagined.
That was just the start of what I hope to be a long and happy career. I still had a personal life. D, that story, long, confusing, full of love and anger, hot ‘exercise’… He had just told me a few weeks prior to my exciting phone call that he cared more than I knew. Then went weeks without responding to me. All of the anticipation and anxiety I was feeling I couldn’t share with the one person I wanted to!
How do I segue? No clue, my second day in the classroom, he sent me a message and seduced me over for a visit with a dozen multi-colored roses, and that was, what I thought, the beginning of getting everything I wanted.
Bounce back to day 1 in the classroom. I’ll never forget it. It was the first day back after a week off in November, right after progress reports and interviews had happened. 3/4 split. The room…Ohhhhh the room! I wanted to throw up just looking at it! It.Was.Disgusting. Moldy buns from the feast before they left, pencils/crayons/markers everywhere! Desks randomly scattered about the room. The corner of the room where the previous teacher had her desk, it was piled SHOULDER high with stuff! Not even supplies or materials! Just stuff! The neat-freak, slightly OCD brain of mine couldn’t handle it! That very first day the students and I spent 6 entire hours cleaning, disinfecting, garbaging, wiping, building, moving….Everything we could get our hands on. I’ll have to see if I can find some pictures..Figure out how to add those…
I’m sure the students thought I was off my rocker..Who’s this girl and what the hell is she doing? Telling us what to do? What?…But I stuck to my guns…That whole first week was rehabilitation and restoration of what had the potential to be a great space containing great kids. It took that whole week for me to find comfort in that room, countless Lysol wipes, bottles of hydration (the H2O kind 😉 ), staples, laminating….I could go on and on! But by the end of that week, not only could I relax, but I felt like my students were as well.
I implemented what I knew from when I was a child as a reward system, P.A.T, or Preferred Activity Time. Basically, you add or subtract points (equivalent to minutes) throughout the week, and on Friday, they get however many minutes on the plus side to have ‘free time’. It worked really well, except for that one student…That one poor boy, C, who just couldn’t sit still and lost points for the whole class. They didn’t like that very much. But it got me through the month leading up to Christmas break, and for that I was thankful.
Is this a long post? I’m not sure…I’ll end this one here for now