Thursday, August 7, 2014

Thank Goodness

I got my official welcome back email today.  What a relief!  Now I know what day I go back to work :)

What I was more impressed with is my new administration's value for our summer breaks.  The earliest I could go back is Wednesday, but since I"m in training, that day is out.  They limited the hours we can work.  Yup, limited from 9-1.  They expect us to do other things then spend all day prepping our classrooms...and all I can say is thank goodness!

I won't get keys until next Friday and even then, I can work a max of four hours at school.  I can go in Saturday and Sunday (which I may, dragging B with me), but again I"m limited to four hours.  

I talked with the grade level chair and they long range plan during the first few weeks of school, so I'm not a slacker teacher.  More importantly, they plan as a team (hooray collaboration) and tweak the plans as the year progresses.  Yes, the mindset that the plans you make in August, before you've met your students, can be altered based on the students' needs.  Hallelujah this is a norm!

Besides my excitement about planning and not being allowed to work all day, there was one more piece of pertinent information regarding bulletin boards.

It's expected they'll be cute.  What a refreshing change.

See, last year the cuteness was severely frowned upon.  We did not have bulletin boards.  They were called academic wall displays.  They were graded, on a rubric, by ourselves and administration.  We had a stern talking to regarding ours...and we weren't the only grade level.  I remember being chewed out because some of the students' work wasn't perfect.  Um, correct.  I teach ten year-olds.  Learning is a process.  I hope they haven't mastered all of the fifth grade content in September.  So yes, in the interest of displaying all students' work, I included some work that wasn't 100% correct.  Again, I taught inclusion (with special education students), learning is a process...and the bulletin board was due in September.  Not the end of September, but by the end of day 8 of instruction.  Oddly enough, two weeks in, my fifth graders hadn't mastered that particular reading standard.  I got lectured for it.

I don't think that will be the case this year.  There was an email attachment about all sorts of ways to make your bulletin boards cute and recommended how to make lettering and borders.  I will keep the background sheet and burlap border up all year, but switch out the lettering and theme as I see fit.  Or every month, as is suggested.

Thank goodness for positive change.  I'm so excited to be headed somewhere where I'm encouraged to have a life outside the classroom and it's expected I have fun with my job.  

Hallelujah.  It's about damn time.

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