Saturday, January 12, 2013

One Week Down

I'm one week into my new role and it's been a whirlwind.  I'm glad it's the weekend!

When we went into Christmas Break, my students had no idea what was happening.  That news got broken to them in an email the weekend before school started up again.  That meant that Monday was a day of talking through the process with my students.  They had a chance to meet their new teacher (Jessica) and introduce themselves to her.  Since Jessica wanted to see the iPads in action, we used Educreations and StoryKit for kids to introduce themselves.

Monday through Wednesday were used to transition Jessica into the role of the teacher in the classroom.  That meant that each day she saw more time in front of the kids while we spent a lot of planning period time talking through procedures, asking and answering questions, and getting her up to speed on everything behind the scenes.  I know I forgot how much they DON'T teach you in college about teaching. Jessica is going to be a great teacher and blessing in those kids' lives!

I also got to get some fingerprinting done for a must-have background check.  Never can be too cautious these days, I suppose. I had the joy of setting up and running a webinar in my room for a staff meeting as well.  

This transition time also involves meeting my new boss. Joe just moved here from Tennessee to become our new Technology Director.  We've spent a bit of time talking tech stuff, and I admit I've been lost for some of it.  There was one time I told him that he "might as well had said that last sentence in Russian." I recognized FAT32 and quickly got lost from there. I'm so happy to have Joe here getting our technology focused in one direction!

I also have a new office to move into.  The office is attached to the library, so it doubles as a library storage area, parent volunteer work space, and who knows what else?  My stuff was dumped in, and I'm trying to carve my niche into one half of the room. It took a week, but I have a computer set up, and the room looks livable.

By Thursday, I settled into my role of elementary computer teacher.  I had 4th, 3rd, and 1st graders that first day.  Today is Kindergarten, followed by 2nd grade.  I found a great web site for digital literacy and citizenship curriculum called Common Sense Media. This week's lesson for K-2 was about where to go while online, equating it to a field trip.  Well done.  For 3rd and 4th, I did more of an introductory lesson.  They had to type me a letter on Word, then they had an introduction to Sumdog.  Both levels got some typing practice as well:  Type to Lean Jr for K-2 and Mavis Beacon for 3-4.

So far, the biggest challenge is teaching the little ones.  I have been type-cast as an upper elementary teacher my entire career.  I started in 4th grade for two years, then I've been in 5th and 6th for the last 16 1/2 years. Add in my six years as a middle school youth leader, and I have no idea what to do with the kids under 44 inches tall. There were definitely some fun moments this week.

I will be adding middle schoolers to the mix soon.  They are on J-term for another week.  This means that next week will be a bit easier.  I'll have plenty of time for research, planning, and starting to help administration on various projects.

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