Adventures of a New Teacher – Day 9

Another week of school down! I only two weeks into my plan to blog after everyday and I’ve got to say it’s hard to write everyday.

Today we spent some more time reviewing some core definitions and math skills. I’m feeling better about where my students are at in their basic skills. We have another week planned of review activities before we start getting into actual course work. I think this will be really helpful in getting them where there need to be before we start. It will also give me all week to plan how exactly this is going to work. Between the two hours of the day that I am actually teaching math there is 5 different classes going on. I will be teaching Algebra 1A, Algebra 1B, Geometry A, Geometry B, and Algebra 2A. This first semester is going to be a ton of work have to get ready for both A and B sections happening at the same time. It’s also going to be a huge departure from what I am used to as I try to run multiple sections in the same hour and work on flipping my classroom. I’ll post of more on this process as I get there this weekend and upcoming week.

I also want to share a couple of my takeaways from this position after week 2.

My students are awesome! Overall I have a great group of students! I really enjoy having only 50 students as I am getting to know them more than I have been able to with students in the past. Since there are spending a lot of time working independently on courses we have more time to talk about what is going on with them outside of school. One of this biggest things I have learned so far that I want to make sure everyone understands is that alternative students are really not all that different as regular high school students. You have the same range of students in their abilities in different areas in either setting. I don’t deal with any different behavioral issues now and if anything so far it seems there have been less. Day in and day out we have a lot of fun! (And most of them are getting their work done too!)

Attendance is an Issue: If there is one thing that we struggle with it is attendance with some of our students. There is some people that I have seen maybe 1-2 days a week. This isn’t as big of an issue with the classes they are taking online because they can work on that at home. It does pose a bigger problem for the courses that we are able to teach ourselves. We are trying to figure out ways to encourage students to come to school. In the mean time I also need to think about what to do to make sure those students don’t fall behind in math classes if they are missing a lot of days.

Overall the positives of this program have so far outweighed any of the negatives so far. I’m looking forward to our first service learning experience next week as we do a beach cleanup. Here’s to hoping the weather stays positive because I don’t know if we will be able to reschedule again.

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