Thursday, August 26, 2010

Meeting my new colleagues

This week has been incredible. I had the opportunity to attend some amazing professional development alongside many of my new colleagues. Most of us are new since the school is only in its third year of operation and given the hiring freeze, all of the newbies (myself included) made transfers on the open market. It has been amazing to connect with everyone and I am so happy (and relieved) to say that I really feel like I have found a place where I will be able to grow as a teacher and a professional.

Some of you might be skeptical, after all, many of us think of transfer teachers as the ones who didn't make it in their old school, or people who moved and wanted to be closer to home, but that is not the case with my colleagues.

All of us share several things in common that really make me think that my new principal has a vision for the school. First of all, we were all interviewed and hired in April (although none of the transfers officially went through until the budgets came out in June). To me, this really shows that he was looking for the best. We all gave demo lessons as part of the interview process. We all accepted the positions we were offered because something told us this would be different. We are all TRAUMATIZED (and I'm not using the term lightly) by our experiences from our other schools and we're not quite sure to make of a place where children are at the center of decision-making, and things are organized (How many of you already have your class rosters color coded for ELLs, IEPs, new arrivals, home language, and ethnicity? You units of study in all subject areas? Your staff handbook? Your schedule?). We are grateful for every piece of communication from the administration and every bit of help from our colleagues. We all either cried or almost cried when we saw our gorgeous classrooms for the first time...happy crying.

I am so hopeful for this next school year. I can't wait to go in tomorrow and start getting things set up.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

In my nightmares...

Many teacher bloggers wrote about their school anxiety dreams over the past few weeks. Mine incidentally started the exact same week I had seen the topic pop up on other blogs. I haven't had different dreams, but rather the same recurring one a total of 3 times in the past 3 weeks. It's strange because it's different than my usual---I can't control the kids no matter what I try--one. This time it's about leaving my old school and starting new. In my new dream I go to my new school and my new principal welcomes all the teachers and announces that he as hired a new Assistant Principal he wants everyone to meet. He goes on to introduce my old principal, who I absolutely despise who says that he basically sucked as a principal (true!) and thought he'd give being an AP a try and since I was at the school he already knew someone. I fake a smile and pretend to be happy to see him (as I always did at my old school). From then on, all of my old administrators appear and even some of my crazier former colleagues all working at my new school. In one version of the dream one of my trusted and competent former colleagues appears tapping on my classroom window begging to be let in. I am overcome by this feeling of--- I thought it would be different, but it's all the SAME!!!!---and them I'm jolted awake so thankful that the incompetents and crazies are not coming with me and a little bit sad for the wonderful people I left behind.