Wow, we are in September? All ready?

I started this last night, and just didn’t get it finished because I’ve been late getting home, late getting supper, and late getting to bed.  Not exactly how I want my school year to start, but it is what it is right now.  I’m learning 102 new names, teaching three sections of 8th grade and a section of 6th grade, so it’s been quite a transition.  No, I’m not exactly sure what I’m doing, but what the heck, neither is anyone else so why should I be different? 🙂

However, many great things are happening in terms of what and who our school is.  We are training all our middle school teachers in AIW, Authentic Intellectual Work, which could really help me. I prefer to write my own assessments when possible, and I want my students challenged by what they do.  The scary part for me with all this, bringing a piece to be dissected by the team.  While I want the best, it’s going to be painful for me to watch, I’m afraid.  We are diving into standards based grading (or reporting as we call it).  Again, it’s the right work, I just don’t feel like I’m anywhere near where the rest of our staff is at.  Our state has thrown a good chunk of money into creating a teacher leadership program, and our school is part of the second round of rollouts.  I was interviewed and have joined the group as a model teacher.  My problem right now, I’m really not thinking I’m modeling anything well!  I say that jokingly, but yet, with so much change happening, doubt is creeping in.

As I say all these things, I know things will be fine and I know I’ll catch on (in a year or two), but I think someone out there has said this: change is hard.

New classroom, new side of the building, new curriculum, new way of teaching (no block schedule, by hours now), AIW, SBG, model teacher: what the heck was I thinking?? 🙂

Now, on the flip side, I’ve got this awesome team of 6th/8th grade teachers that I’m working with this year, two of which I taught with a while back.  I think as a group, we will do great things this year without kids because we are all passionate about what we do.  I teach in air conditioning!  This is the first time in my career where I’ve had AC, and walking out of my room yesterday, I was tired, but it wasn’t the soul crushing, sweaty, dehydrated, “how can we do this again” kind of tired I’ve experienced before when the summer heat fired up.

So my goals for this month:

  • Get a handle on where I’m going curriculum-wise. I’m going to be meeting weekly with one of the former 8th grade teachers, just to pick her brain and make sure I’m doing the right things.
  • Lose another five to seven pounds.  I’m at that point in my life where the weight is going to cost me in future years.  I’m at 237 today, and want to be in the neighborhood of 230 by the end of the month.  My goal is 220 by Christmas.  If I can set myself up for that, reaching my overall goal of 200 will be within sight.
  • Work on simplifying my classroom. I’m getting rid of my desk (someday when there’s a spot for it) so that will help, but there are just little things that continue to bug me. I need to get a handle on paperwork and keep better files.  I’ll work on the filing part this month as my desk disappears.
  • Be in the moment with my daughters and wife.  We are entering our oldest daughter’s senior year.  We’ve all ready had the “last first day of school” and the “last first swim meet”.  I love my job, but it’s not my life.  Those three beautiful people are who I come home to and who mean the most to me, period.

So, have a great September and enjoy all those experiences that are around you.  When the day is done, it’s done forever, so live it out loud and large! 🙂