Good Saturday Morning, everyone!

Well, who survived the first week of school?  I’ve seen this eCard circling around the internet and I think it accurately describes how we all feel this week:

Firstweek

Although this week was extremely tiring, it was equally as invigorating and inspiring (for me, anyhow).  After reading our blog this week you might get the idea that we’re slightly neurotic, stressed out and completely inside our heads.  We are.  Being new teachers in our district (and anywhere, I’m sure) is hard work.  Our job security doesn’t really exist (yet) and it’s really hard to make solid financial plans and concrete unit plans based on our day-by-day, week-by-week employment.  Forgive us if it feels like we are complaining, we do not mean to complain – we LOVE our job!  Despite all the stress we’ve felt this week, we were able to step back and see our “job” for the amazing opportunity it is.  We get to make a difference every single day – I can’t think of anything else I’d rather do!  *I write “job” with quotation marks because although I am paid to teach, teaching is a natural extension of who I am…most days teaching truly does not feel like work to me.

On Thursday our school finally settled into their advisory classes and I got to meet “my class” for the first time.  Can I just take a moment to say that I have 22 boys and 5 girls in my class?  I took a quick breath when this realization was brought to my attention (it wasn’t me who first noticed the difference!) and decided that it’s going to be an incredible year with this diverse group of students.  Check out some of the community building things we did on Thursday and Friday:

First of all, yesterday was our first Feel Good Friday of the year!  I purchased special pencils and tiny note cards for the event.  I wrote all the first FGF notes for the students in order to provide a demonstration for how the activity works.  Next week the students will get to do their own FGF notes.
First of all, yesterday was our first Feel Good Friday of the year! I purchased special pencils and tiny note cards for the event. I wrote all the first FGF notes for the students in order to provide a demonstration for how the activity works. Next week the students will get to do their own FGF notes.  For more on Feel Good Friday, check out this post.
On Thursday we jumped right into a conversation about what kind of teacher my students want to have this year.  One of my best friends (not a teacher...yet) shared this idea with me and I thought it would be very interesting to see what the students had to say.  I was extremely impressed with what we came up with - the students' ideas really give me an inside peek at what kind of learners they are.  These kids sure knew exactly what they wanted!
On Thursday we jumped right into a conversation about what kind of teacher my students want to have this year. One of my best friends (not a teacher…yet) shared this idea with me and I thought it would be very interesting to see what the students had to say. I was extremely impressed with what we came up with – the students’ ideas really give me an inside peek at what kind of learners they are. These kids sure knew exactly what they wanted!
On Friday we had a class conversation about what kind of classroom community we want to create.  This conversation lasted about an hour.  I was blown away by the maturity and articulation these grade 7s used while engaging in this oh-so-important discussion.  I plan to use the 5 main ideas as the branches of our classroom tree...more on that coming later next week!
On Friday we had a class conversation about what kind of classroom community we want to create. This conversation lasted about an hour. I was blown away by the maturity and articulation these grade 7s used while engaging in this oh-so-important discussion. I plan to use the 5 main ideas as the branches of our classroom tree…more on that coming later next week!
A few fun, community building & student led initiatives had already taken full swing in our class.  The lyrics wall (bottom left) almost needs a new page, the quotes wall was entirely student created and will brighten up our "ugly wall" in more ways than one, and check out that "natural smiley face" one of my students pointed out to me.  Seeing this level of purpose filled creativity fills my heart with joy.  Loving these kids already.
A few fun, community building & student led initiatives have already taken full swing in our class. The lyrics wall (bottom left) almost needs a new page, the quotes wall was entirely student created and will brighten up our “ugly wall” in more ways than one, and check out that “natural smiley face” one of my students pointed out to me. Seeing this level of purpose filled creativity fills my heart with joy. Loving these kids already.
Doesn't everyone go home and lay on the floor while your cat uses you as a Pride Rock climbing structure?  (Those who know me well know that most of my teaching days leave me flat on the floor of my living room...we don't have a coffee table for this very reason.  Not joking).
Doesn’t everyone go home after work and lay on the floor while your cat uses you as a Pride Rock climbing structure? (Those who know me well know that most of my teaching days leave me flat on the floor of my living room…we don’t have a coffee table for this very reason. Not joking).
And finally, the glorious sunset we were blessed with last night.  Our school wide beach day was cancelled because of intense fog (like, can't-see-10 feet-in-front-of-you fog).  This sunset show no trace of the foggy day we had.  Sigh.  Weekend!
And finally, the glorious sunset we were blessed with last night. Our school wide beach day was cancelled because of intense fog (like, can’t-see-10 feet-in-front-of-you fog). This sunset shows no trace of the foggy day we had. Sigh. Fin de semaine!

Karley