Tag Archives: classroom

“The First Day”

19 Aug

My first day on the job was last Friday, and boy do I have a lot to write! Let’s recap to how I got here:

After teaching frosh comp at college, I decided to go back to school for my master’s and teach high school. I absolutely fell in love with high school, teenagers, teaching, the material I taught, and my ‘kids.’ I don’t think I’ve ever been as happy as I was during student teaching. I finished that in December 2012, and started looking for jobs right away. After losing a parent in January, I lost motivation for a while and just muddled through the days, working and not much else. May approached and I felt the proverbial kick-in-the-pants to get moving and look for teaching jobs. After over thirty (yes, THIRTY) applications and some interviews, I accepted the most awesome position I could ever ask for.

For those who are familiar with Northwest Indiana, you’ll know that there are affluent and less-affluent areas. We have a unique combination of urban, suburban, and rural communities – all in the same county. In Hammond, an early college high school has been formed, and I’m part of the team getting this program up and running! I’m so excited to be in here at the ground-level and to have a chance to really shape it and put my stamp on it.

The early college program is nothing new – there are over 250 in the United States, but this is the first in the Northwest Indiana area. It focuses on underprivileged teens who have the desire to go to college, but wouldn’t go otherwise. These scholars have the opportunity to earn an associate’s or up to two years of college credit concurrently with their high school diploma. How awesome is that?

So, after many meetings and orientation and all that good stuff last week, I was finally in my room on Friday. I rearranged desks about ten times, moved MY desk all around the room, hung the paper and made bulletin boards.

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The desks were originally in four rows of five, but I didn’t like that I could only move around the perimeter. This is what I finally decided on. My desk is in the front corner, because I never sit at my desk while class is in session anyway. I’m loving the storage in my room – the entire back wall has cabinets with shelves.

Today I worked on my classroom library and my resource books – I’ll share photos soon.

No longer will I neglect Twitter or the blog (remember the whole ‘lost motivation’ thing?), because I have too much to share and too much to learn from my PLN!

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Classroom Library Additions (Library Sale Fun)

1 Aug

Can I just say that library sales are pretty much my favorite thing ever? Even since before sliced bread. That’s how jazzed I am about library sales. I was visiting my local public library in search of the print version of Where She Went because the last disc of the audio-book didn’t work (major bummer). The only copy was checked out so I grabbed an audio-book at random and picked up a few other teen lit books and went upstairs for some picture books to read with my brother.

As I walked up the second flight, the sale shop beckoned me like a chorus of angels. I swear the book angels went “Aaaaahhhhhh” as I hit the landing. See, I have never (really, never ever ever) been in the library when the shop was open. Never. I popped in just to case the place, fully intending to come back. I made small talk with the really nice, sweet lady sitting at the counter and mentioned that (a) it was my first time in the shop and (b) I’m a high school English teacher.

She directed me to the teen section and I started shoving books in a cart (when the most expensive book is 75 cents, can you blame me?). I took a stack to the lady and told her I was going to pick out a few more. She tells me, “Oh, honey, I checked into it, and we have discounts for teachers.” “Oh, that’s awesome,” I tell her and pick out some more books. I’m thinking maybe 15% off? I’d be trilled with that – heck, I don’t even mind paying full price if the book is only 75 cents!

I walked out with five grocery bags FULL of books. The amount of books I have sitting in my trunk is just insane. And I paid all of $7.00. SEVEN DOLLARS. Wow.

These pictures show only half of my loot – my sister took two bags to read!

If you have the chance to go to your library’s sale shop, please go. Even if you don’t find something for your class, chances are you’ll find something great for yourself! The books tend to be a tad on the dated side, but who cares? Fiction is fiction! I can’t wait to clean these up and ready them for their placement on the shelves in the classroom.

Do you have a super-awesome place where you score books? I’d love to hear about it – comment below!

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