It has been the first month of school. Of this new job.
Here is what I have learned in school.
- I was hired into a political battle and have a colleague who has an axe to grind with my being hired.
- She is very political. She isn’t really very friendly. She is in my department that consists of 3 people.
- The kids are alternately wonderful and alternately very naughty.
- There is one group of students who can’t seem to go 5 minutes without slugging someone.
- Overall things are fine.
- My day is longer than it has been in a very long time, with about 3 hours between arriving home and going to bed.
- They don’t show you how to do attendance, yet you are required to do it. They don’t teach one how to do anything on the school database for student information, but speak as if you already know. I think they are waiting to see if you make it through the first year. Very different from my last school. Future newbies should be warned.
- The English teachers make mistakes in parent letters.
- If you don’t bring cookies or chocolate to share, you best not eat an m n m.
- Remember, don’t speak unless you have political capital.
- Only one other person on staff has small kids at home, meaning, long hours are the norm, normal hours mean you must be lazy.
- No, there is no curriculum for what you teach.
- Like I said though, it’s actually all pretty much par for a job. What did you expect?
I don’t miss the old place, but I do miss the culture of it. Though the faculty was 150 teachers, there was a strong respect and sense of smallness about the place. At staff meetings they gave out gifts to newlyweds and new babies, and they sent flowers to those grieving on staff. Every faculty person gave 5 dollars toward that fund at the outset of the year. People were getting their toes stepped on a lot toward the end, but the sense of community, welcomeness and generally everyone being glad that you were there and now you were part of this most awesome team was inspiring. Every new teacher I started with wanted to take on extra duties to contribute to the good atmosphere of the school. It was easy to be positive there. I guess since that was my first school, to me that is how it ought to be. The principal was a rather amazing fellow, well loved at least. When he left, they made him a photo album of all the babies that were born while he was in charge there. I loved that.
I have been reading a very good book at night that is helping me keep perspective and has really just been the best book I have read in a very, very long time, though I think it has something to do with timing.
Props to J and A who have been my support at this time.