Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Newbie Perspective

Today was my first official work day for my new job.  I'm a math teacher specialist (more commonly known around the country as an instructional coach) at a high school with an enrollment of around 1000 students and with 9 math teachers. 

I stayed in the same school system and because it's a relatively small system, all the teaching staff fits in either high school's auditorium.  As we loaded into the auditorium today, I wasn't sitting among the people clad in orange and black but rather blue and white. We had our typical BTS meeting- quick speeches from the teacher of the year, superintendent, assistant superintendents, school board president, and union reps. A new touch this year was a song from the marching band.  We were done in under 2 hours, and I think we were all rejoicing in the efficiency and budgetary savings of not having a guest speaker. 

I headed home to grab my lunch and items I needed for my desk, went to school, unpacked, ate lunch, and started to greet the teachers I'll be working with and offer help. I know all of the teachers to some degree, some slightly better than others but none well.  I helped load pencils in compasses and set up a document camera and LCD projector but mostly just talked and asked lots of questions.  My goal for today was to get to know people and/or talk instruction if that's what they wanted to talk about.  They brought a few issues to my attention, and I'm happy to already have this feedback as we're moving forward.  I also identified some strengths right away: organization, empathy, willingness to ask questions, etc.  I talked to 6/9 teachers today and will make it to see the others tomorrow. 

The surprises of the day:
1. Our faculty meeting was 20 minutes.  :)  There will be another longer one, but still. 
2. The hall that my office is on is QUIET.  I heard nary a whisper while people were setting up, let alone blasting rock music like at my former school.  Is it just because my office is on the English hall or is that how high school is?
3. A lovely 3/4 sleeve fitted t-shirt with the school logo arrived on my desk this afternoon.  Someone even guessed my size correctly.
4. There was an Uncrustable sandwich dated June in the fridge in my office.  Didn't anyone empty it in June?
5. I now have a gigantic bulldog parking pass hanging from my rearview mirror.  Just another one of those high school things I never had to worry about at a middle school. 

Not a surprise:
1. I miss my old colleagues dearly.
2. I miss decorating and organizing a classroom.
3. People were friendly today and I think I'm going to like it. 

What's new with you for #BTS2015?


  1. I am teaching high school geometry and advanced algebra II this year after teaching middle school for the past 8 years. I miss my old colleagues as well, but everyone is friendly here and I survived the first day. I will grow to love this place as well.

  2. Parallel posts! I purposely didn't read yours until I was done with mine... I just posted tonight...we both mentioned our opening day activities! I miss setting up a classroom too! It's also really weird tonight to not be stressing about classes tomorrow. Have a great first week of school with students! See you on Wednesday at training.