The Ostrich Awakes
So... How y'all doing?
Due to more technical woes (I can no longer access any of my old blog notes, posts that I'd begun, as well as my list of words for Jargon Jungle) as well as the insanity that is the first weeks of the school year, I've been doing my best impression of the Struthio camelus found on the right.
What have I been up to?
- I have five preps this year, out of a total of six classes that I teach. "Insane" does not even begin to describe this arrangement, an arrangement further complicated by the fact that, in a few short weeks, I will be moved out of my classroom and possibly into more than one classroom, so that ongoing campus renovations may finally reach my room, modernizing it with touches like new carpet, new paint, a new ventilation system (our HVAC system only actually heated--no VAC) and, my personal favorite, a new SmartBoard!
This SmartBoard has actually been sitting in the district warehouse since last Christmas, but due to various bureaucratic issues, has woefully remained in limbo until now. I should be back into my classroom after Christmas, but until then, chaos remains the status quo.
- I've been mentoring/conferencing/counseling. Due to our lack of adequate counseling staff (a fact I will discuss in more broad terms in my next post), a number of students come to me for college-counseling advice. This is something I really enjoy, and that I've spent time acquiring training in, through UCLA Online Extension's College Counseling Certificate program--I can't say enough great things about it! However, as much as I enjoy it, it takes a considerable amount of time out of my already hectic schedule.
- I'm teaching a new class this year--new not only to me, but to the school. Without going into too much boring detail, it's an upper-division literature seminar elective that meets the UC F-area fine arts requirement. I'm enjoying it immensely, but between the prep time required for new classes, as well as the size of the class itself (about 40 students) it also has taken a large chunk of my time.
- In addition to teaching, I have my fingers in a number of different pies--I'm a union rep, on the WASC committee, and I'm advisor for a couple of different student organizations, one of which had an event last night that was part of a larger community function. I'm proud to say that not only did my students do well in their roles, but they excelled, and I received comments from a number of adults on what a great group of kids I had. In fact, while I spent a lot of time preparing for the event, once I got there, my students were so ready to go and so hard-working that I pretty much stood back and watched as the well-oiled machine that those kids have become sprung into action.
Even the freshmen, who have been with the group for only a week now, performed above and beyond what I would have expected of my most dedicated, veteran seniors. There's something about watching them work that made my heart swell and my eyes want to fill... Oh yeah, pride. I am so proud of those kids. What a privilege it is to work with them.
I will, however, slowly but surely be recreating Jargon Jungle--I anticipate the first one will return next Tuesday. So if any of you have any favorite (or reviled!) educational jargon that you'd like to share, I'd appreciate the assistance in recompiling my list.
And the moral of the story is:
ALWAYS BACK EVERYTHING UP.
Happy Labor Day weekend, y'all. ;-)