While working on lesson plans I was looking back on old notes I left from my first year teaching!! A lot if this stuff I forgot about but it funny how things have changes soo much in only a few years. My first year I taught 8 grade pre-algebra. We had gender based classes which I loved. The girls were hard to get along with at first some of them had outstanding personalities. Some had to go. By the end the girls who were left and I decided we would really miss each other!! The boys were funny they loved math, some needed more attention than others but I loved the boys classes. They would not let anyone mess with Mrs. Ward!!
At the beginning of the school year, I was told that "these kids can't learn without calculators." Even though that person will never know the difference, "these kids" did learn, and we made AYP. I will never forget her making that comment. I still stick to my guns on the calculator issue to this day. I was told this year my students would be sooo low, but with a bit of tough love the have studied their multiplication and most of them memorized their facts and have learned how to do long division!!
Speaking of the students from that first year, I also found a few funny quotes i wrote down that they said to me through out the year. A girl told me on a Friday when I had on jeans that I "look like one of those white women who go to the grocery store and stuff on T.V." On a field trip we walked to a community center and had to cross a major intersection, I was being safe waiting for the walk sign to light up, the next thing I know the a boy steps in the road and says, "Mrs. Ward, white folks don't know how to cross the street." That same day I was wearing a pair of clear jelly sandals and another boy said, "Mrs. Ward you have on your glass slippers, are you sure I don't need to carry you?"
The adults are what left the year very interesting. I never missed a day of work until my grandmother passed and the principle made me leave early. I even taught with bronchitis (not suggested). But it seems that there was always a teacher missing on our floor. This is still true today, the same people are late every day. I don't get it. I got written up for not having my chalk board set up correctly but other people can just stroll into work whenever they feel like it!!??!! When everyone was there, two of our 8 grade teachers had major personality clashes which lead to a complete blow up one day. Another teacher had to leave after the first six weeks and another went out on maternity leave for a looooong time, then one moved to another country. We had substitutes in and out which was hard. After a lot of ups and down mainly from the adults I found out that no one was to be fully trusted!! Oh yeah and don't let me forget the crazy janitors too. One day I let some girls into the restroom after school which lead a janitor to cussing and throwing garbage cans it was NUTS!! then one got hired and fired within just a few weeks for hitting on me, making rude comments, and asking for my number.
Even with all of this going on I still did well in the classroom. My goal this year is to get the 6 graders conditioned to middle school and have another year like this one without all the adult drama. 6 graders are just different some have still not been tested special ed and it is obvious that they need it, but the elem school teachers did not do the proper paper work and the child is now in middle school falling further behind. Hopefully we can get the paper work processes underway soon and get all children in their learning environment, but who knows. One more funny thing and I will quit reminiscing, the admin that first year, actually told me in January or Feb. that they didn't think i would make it the whole year!! Look at me now 3 years later!!