Day 1: New Teacher Workshop

So after 12 years at my old district, I get to be the new kid on the block again.  As I walk into the district building, I begin to see some familiar faces- something that I would not have seen when I first started teaching.  Even though I’m the new kid, there’s a lot of seasoned veteran still flowing through me.

As I walk in I am handed this:


How many of you recognize this book?  How many have read it?  I guess I was fortunate, my education professor required this book in college, so my version looks like this:


Does this look familiar to any of you?  As I receive it, I can’t help but wonder what the differences are in the versions.  Have you ever done that?  Typically I do when I get a new version of my text, I scope it out for the things that have changed.  This is now bugging me, guess I’ll have to read it over once again- score for the new district.

As the morning goes on, I realize how different we treat adults versus our students.  I am sitting and listening, writing occasional notes, and not moving.  This is the truly hard part, as a teacher we expect to be mobile, moving throughout the room and talking to students.  This is the exact opposite, and even though I realize the purpose of it, the teacher in me makes a mental note to always have this morning come to mind when I am lecturing to remind me how I feel and correlate that to my students.  It was good to place faces to all of the business administration that we will be dealing with in this new district, I just had to concentrate really hard to keep my focus.

Guess what one of the first handouts is: the testing schedule for the year.  I appreciate knowing when testing dates are, but I also can’t help but wonder where testing anxiety comes from when as teachers, one of the first hellos from the district is the assessment schedule.  Looking over this calendar automatically caused my blood pressure to rise, and I had to remind myself that I have a great plan for this year- don’t worry about the test.  I quickly buried the calendar under a stack of papers.

One of the administration I met, the Curriculum Program Director, I will have to meet once again.  She told us about the curriculum links at the district website and I will spend my next workday pouring over it.  I am very curious how they designed their curriculum alignment for mathematics, and am thinking I will volunteer to help if they need to adjust or re-work the maps since they adopted a new text series.  Those that know me, know I am very interested in Curriculum.

One of the best times of the morning came when our technology person talked with us.  We found out about the district tech, but he also stated that as teachers, we are encouraged to use online resources in the classroom and use resources such as googledocs for student work and collaboration.  I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to hear this, my old technology policy was very restricted, and the use of a webpage or twitter as social networking with students was suppressed.  I realize there are many negative things that can happen, but I also feel that there are too many positive learning opportunities for students- I will just have to present a very structured outline for students, which I will also share with my building principal.  This segment of the morning has my mind racing already.

Overall the day went well, and there were a lot of good contact information received.  The district presented itself very well to it’s new hires, and iterated how they want to work with us to make us the best teacher we can be.  I am hopeful an excited to start this new journey in my career educating our youth.

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