Thursday, September 9, 2010

Day One of the 2010-2011 School Year

Yesterday the students came back to school. Having been in and out of the building all summer had the effect of calming my nerves. I felt ready to go and had fewer butterflies than I would have had otherwise. I came in on an early schedule because neither my daytime ESL nor my after-school library schedule has been finalized. It was disheartening that no classes even visited the library as a quick first day hello. I had specifically asked Lyons admin to make sure their sixth and ninth grade advisors brought their kids in since their Day One schedule listed a "school tour," but the message seemed not to have got across.

While waiting, however, I shelved all the books that had been in the New Arrivals display last Spring and unpacked the first batch of new books, which had just arrived, placing them out as New Arrivals.

I began a new Reading Vine across from my door and Karali, the principal of The Green School, wandered by wondering aloud if vines shouldn't sprout up in different places, specifically across from ELA classrooms. I like this idea. My hope is that the various vines might one day begin to meet each other. As Karali said, the more kids see them, the more inspired they'll be to add leaves to them. I started vine number two across from 12th grade ELA and will start the others next week. I haven't cut out any leaves yet, but can get a batch out to teachers early next week.

The best part of the day was that students came of their own volition to say hello. Two of my ESL students came running in telling me how disappointed they were not to have a self-contained ESL class with me this term. Who knew? I thought they had found it stigmatizing. Their complaint made me feel appreciated, though! I explained that, starting next week, they would see me every day as I'd be coming into their classes to work with them there, rather than have them all together in a class of their own. They don't seem 100% convinced that this will work for them. I want to make sure I give each of my English Language Learners sufficient attention every day. The population is small enough that I believe I can make this happen.

This weekend I'll map out which hours of the day work best for The Green School's ESL students, then go back to Lyons and TYWLS to finalize their library times. A quiet first day doesn't mean I'm not going to have a year that roars.

- Posted remotely via mobile phone.

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