Sunday, August 24, 2008

First day school eve

Tomorrow is the first day of school.

I still get that nervous, jittery feeling. I still lay out my clothes (or, at least, pack my gym bag full of them, something I don't generally do other days, which is why I sometimes end up at school wearing sneakers or without an undershirt, because I forget them in my morning mad dash).

When I first started teaching, my department head - who, at the time, doubled as the Advanced Studies Coordinator, the Assistant Principal, and the Scheduler, and now is pretty high up in the BCPSS, and who, in a way, taught me how to teach - said that on the first day, that you should go over policies and such, but that it's important to have some sort of learning activity, and some sort of homework. I've subscribed to that every year. My 9th graders tomorrow are getting about a 10-minute run-through of the syllabus, but then we're taking some notes on the literary term theme, then listening to a 9-minute tape of Langston Hughes' "Thank You, Ma'am," then discussing the theme of that story, and then starting a handout on the theme of the summer reading texts that they'll finish for homework. My Juniors will actually take their summer reading quizzes, then get started on their group presentations for said summer reading. The first day of school is paradoxically both exciting (because you get to see all your friends, because you meet all your teachers) and dull (because every class is listening to rules and regulations), so I'm trying to jump right in without the dull part.

I'm excited.

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