Friday, September 4, 2015

And Just Like That, the Wait is Over

     Question:  Who has two thumbs, two transplanted lungs, and is teaching 7th graders this fall?

     Answer:  This guy!

     The Waiting Game is over!  I was informed yesterday that human resources filled the open classes at the high school with a part-time teacher who wanted to be full time.  This course of action also prevented the need for changing the schedules of five other teachers, all of whom would have dealt with last minute switches in order to incorporate me into the schedule.  It definitely makes sense from many perspectives, but I'd be lying if I didn't say the final answer was disappointing.  In my mind, from the first day I knew I could go back, all indicators were that getting me back at the high school before the first day of school was either a no-brainer or could be done if a few things fell into the right place.  But, as I said before, this is not a crushing blow.  All things considered, I couldn't be walking into a better situation.

     My fellow 7th grade English teachers are all awesome, and all bring something different to the table.  I'm the only person among the four of us who has no experience with the curriculum and the grade level, but three of us are teaching this particular 7th grade curriculum for the first time.  And the gentleman who has taught for almost twenty years-- he couldn't be more giving, more astute, or more organized.  With just a few clicks he shared every document he's utilized in the last four years.  He even has lesson plans written out, and boom, there they are in my inbox.  

     The age difference between these kids and what I'm used to is one of the aspects of this change that makes me the most anxious.  Even though I am still young (33 in November!) and I look younger (despite my new gray hair), I felt incredibly old when I realized that my students were all born after I graduated from high school, and some of them were born the same year I graduated from college (2013).  This was bound to happen at some point in my career, even if I'd remained at the high school, but it was a bit shocking to think that these kids weren't even alive when the tragedy of 9-11 took place.  If I don't emerge from this year with a much better sense of "what's cool" among tweens, I will have certainly failed.  I think I will marathon the Disney XD channel during the holiday weekend and call that "preparing" for the new experiences I am bound to encounter next week!

     On a blog related note, I am going to take next week off from writing, aside from maybe posting a few entries from the teaching blog I wrote in 2011, so I can completely focus on making an excellent first impression and building my classroom community.  The Transplanted Teacher will bring you Tales from 7th Grade starting September 14.  

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