Unless you’re a teacher, you may never think about or experience what a school is like without the students. First and foremost, it is quiet, very quiet, eerily quiet, disturbingly quiet. And if you comment on this unnatural quiet, you will inevitably be told to “enjoy it while it lasts,” which all in all is not bad advice.
School Before Students
New teacher orientation started last Thursday, and I feel like I’ve been going nonstop ever since then. First was a day and a half with all the other new teachers (twenty three of us in all). It was a lot of meeting new people, which I never am comfortable with, but I did alright.
Then all the staff returned to work, which led to meeting more people on Friday afternoon. I got to meet the paraprofessionals that I will be working with, who, understandably were full of questions that I, understandably, did not have answers to.
Friday was followed by my last two days at the grocery store. The schedule had me down for two opening cash office shifts. The cash office is my favorite place to work, but I really would have used some time to sleep in. My last days at the grocery store passed with no fan fair, which after working there for six years, was a little disappointing. My grocery career is now over, I hope.
Monday morning brought me back to school for the staff kick off breakfast. It was vaguely reminiscent of the days of walking through the cafeteria, looking for a place to sit, but I found some soon enough. After breakfast was the official kick off program, where I had to stand up and be recognized as a new teacher (which I dislike), and a guest speaker, John Antonetti, who was surprisingly entertaining. I usually hate guest speakers at things like this, but he did a fantastic job. Then back to the school for some work in the classroom, which was followed by the never ending payroll and benefits meeting (don’t get me wrong, I’m all for both pay and benefits, but this meeting was ridiculous).
Tuesday brought an all staff meeting at my school, where I had to stand up and introduce myself (which I really dislike) and more classroom time. A lot of that time was spent reading IEPs in the hopes of getting to know my students. Tuesday night brought our open house, which gave me the chance to meet students and parents, all but one and I have met the mother. This got me excited for the school year to begin.
Today, panic set in. Students are arriving tomorrow, and I feel in no way prepared for them. The next two days will be chaos, no matter how much more I prepare, but I’m hoping I have enough coverage figured out to get us through tomorrow and Friday. I’ll use the long weekend to hammer out the schedule details and continue on from there.
Tomorrow the halls will be filled with students, and I’m sure I will miss the quiet from the past few days.