Yesterday was quite a full day for me. In the morning, I had to go by the school to pick up papers I needed in order to re-do my fingerprinting and drug test. I then had to go downtown (a full 40-minute hectic drive away) to get it all done. In the past, it would take FOREVER!!! But this time, it wasn’t bad at all.
While I was at the fingerprinting office, I even ran into someone else who was getting hired at my school AND going to be a Kindergarten teacher as well! From now on, I will refer to her as Miss G. She was really nice and it was reassuring to hear her voice certain insecurities as well. It was also interesting to find out little differences between what they told her and what they told me. For example, they told me that they were splitting up Kindergarten into block scheduling like the rest of the school. One teacher would teach the language arts and social studies block and the other teacher would teach the math, science, and Spanish block. Since I told them that I do not speak Spanish, they told me that I would teach the language arts and social studies block for sure and that went wonderfully since I’ve been the kids specialist at a bookstore for over a year. What they told her, however, was just that she was going to be a Kindergarten teacher. Yep, they didn’t say anything regarding the block scheduling. (Oh and later on during the night meeting, they said that now the math and science teacher does not teach Spanish as well. So we’ll see.) She was also as anxious to see the classrooms as I was. This will be Miss G’s first time teaching her own classroom. She also has a daughter that will be attending the school in first grade.
After fingerprinting, I went to take the drug test. Luckily, I didn’t get lost and I didn’t have to wait long in the office because I really had to go to the bathroom! Hehe… I was in and out pretty fast. After that, I went to DSW to find some flats that I could wear to work. I got some deep red flats and slightly raised black Mary Janes. The black shoes were already 40% off and then I got 15% off the red ones because there were some glue spots on the front bow on the left shoe. Yay for discounts! (I think my next post will be about all the discounts offered to teachers at various stores!)
I then had a staff meeting at 6pm at a different church. I didn’t know exactly how to get there or where to go once I parked since there were not any signs. PLUS there was construction going on that completely closed the road for 15 minutes as well as change a major two lane road into one lane. Suffice it to say, I was late. You can’t imagine just how EMBARRASSED I was!!!! What would normally take me only 10 minutes or less, took me over 30 minutes to get there. Sigh… Yeah, great first impression when I walked into the room with all my future co-workers! I’ve made it a point in my head to be extra early to any future meetings.
We had a staff meeting from 6-7 pm and then a staff/parent/management meeting from 7-9 pm. I missed information about a red folder that we got at the beginning of the staff meeting. However, I already messaged Miss G to ask her about it. The rest of the staff meeting went over our uniform (yes, teachers will have to wear a uniform) and curriculum for the school. Since this is a new charter school, we are doing things a little bit differently and will have to be flexible since there really isn’t a school like ours yet in our district. The principal used a great simile. She said “Our school is like a soup. We’ve put lots of ingredients into the pot and it’s smelling really good right now. We just haven’t tasted it yet. But after we taste it, we can start fine tuning the recipe.” I love our principal! She’s so supportive, optimistic, energetic, and kind-hearted. She really cares about the students and teachers. As for the curriculum, she wants us to use the “Next Generation Sunshine State Standards” that Florida is thinking about adopting, which I don’t really see much difference to what is currently being used. She is also drawing techniques from neighboring school districts. I’m excited that we’re all going to be creating something new.
After the staff meeting had ended, we went to the large meeting area of the church to wait for the parent meeting. I happened to end up sitting next to one of the other Kindergarten teachers! Her name is Miss P and she just graduated from the same college that I went to. In fact, we soon found out that we had both completed our Kindergarten internship in the same elementary school with the same teacher! I love finding out how small the world is! She’s fun and super excited to start teaching and decorating her room as well! Like, me, she has also been frequenting dollar stores to find deals for her future classroom. Since she just graduated from college, she’s 3 years younger than me (almost exactly since her birthday is just a week after mine). I’ve already added her and Miss G on Facebook! Both Miss P and Miss G don’t know what block they’ve been assigned to teach yet. We also haven’t met the 4th Kindergarten teacher since she wasn’t at the meeting. At least I know that I’ll get along with 2 of the 3 other Kindergarten teachers I’ll be working with!
All of us teachers were thoroughly impressed when we saw just how many parents showed up for the meeting. There will definitely be parent involvement at our school, espeically considering each parent will be required to complete 20 hours of volunteering at the school each year. The main speaker at the parent meeting was the head of the management company that is ultimately responsible for the school. Charter schools are run by management companies and I’m not too sure on the extent of that. Anyway, they explained how the school would function, introduced the principal, explained the role the arts would play in the classroom, talked about the uniforms, described what enhancements they were doing to the campus, went over what types of technology would be utilized (like the addition of a few Smart Boards!! I haven’t even seen a Smart Board in person!!), and touched upon how confident he was that the upcoming school year will be overwhelmingly successful. Here’s hoping for the best!
Today’s silver lining: Even though I was late to the meeting, at least I had replied to the email telling teachers about the meeting. Apparently, I was the only one to reply out of all of the teachers. The principal, reading specialist, and the school’s office manager all seemed impressed with me for that fact.