First (Teacher) Week Down

Whew! This starting a new school thing is hard work. I know that’s not news to anyone, but I had to just say it.

What’s on the list of things to work out right before school starts?

  • Special Education – the difference between IEP, 504, intervention
  • Standards - what are they; knowledge (content) vs skill
  • Scheduling - fitting in all those classes; what does the day look like; placing kids into classes
  • Courses - what are the rough outlines of our classes; what are the natural integration points
  • Grades - what kind of grading and reporting system will we use; will it be rubric-based
  • Flex Friday Projects – a major cornerstone of the school; how do we design and manage them effectively
  • Advisory - what does it look like; what’s a better name than “advisory”
  • Getting to know your Chromebook – what are some apps that kids can use
  • Administrative tasks – parking (in downtown Portland without a school parking lot); insurance; harassment training
  • Planning the first few days of school

Many of the items on this list would look familiar to any teacher new to a school. When I first began teaching at Poland Regional High School, I spent two days in new teacher workshops (even though I was not new to teaching) and four more days in PRHS teacher workshops. A public “thank you” to my PRHS colleagues, mentors past and present, for preparing me for this moment. The twelve years I spent at PRHS was the best teacher education I could ask for. You pushed me to think in ways that were completely unknown to me.

Learning and sustaining new models of teaching is hard work and deserves time for proper deliberation. We will be continuing many of these conversations as we move forward. There is great excitement and energy among this group, but there are some things that we just can’t finalize until we meet our students. That happens on Wednesday.

Bring on the kids!

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8 Comments

Filed under #180 blog, Baxter

8 responses to “First (Teacher) Week Down

  1. I remember those first weeks at Poland starting from scratch! Terrifying and satisfying at the same time! You’ll have it all down in a few years!

  2. Fancy

    Pam. You brought so much to prhs. My only advice which i know you do believe in the kids give them benefit of doubt. Like no passes etc. good luck!! Miss you! Fanch

  3. Erin Connor

    Hooray! This all sounds like such fun to me. I am so very happy for you!

    • What a cool article. The first time I read the headline, I thought it was a challenge. As in, go ahead make my day. But after reading the article, it’s much more about playing around, messing with the technology, to learn something new. Interest in what you’re learning makes all the difference. Thanks for sharing.

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