Sunday, August 7, 2011

Good Morning GW House!

Oh my goodness! This week was quite the exciting blur. 

I started new-teacher training at my school on Wednesday. There are 7 other new teachers joining the team this year and they are all wonderful people. We are from all over the country and of very different backgrounds. I've really enjoyed getting to know them and I know that it will be a blast working with them.

The school was very welcoming when we started. They gave us a lot of school supplies and started to get us all settled in. I was also very pleased to see a Keurig machine so that I can get some tea throughout the day! What a treat! 

Training this week consisted a lot of learning the operations of the school. We are an 'uncommon school' which means we use a lot of uncommon practices from Doug Lemov's book 'Teach Like a Champion'. There are a lot of specific procedures that the entire school uses. For instance, if a student has a question they raise up three fingers, if they have a comment or answer they hold up two fingers, etc. It's a very respectful environment and I think I'm going to enjoy it greatly. My favorite part of the procedure is that at the beginning and end of every class period, students stand up and greet the teacher and the teacher does the same. My homeroom is GW House (all of the homerooms are named after universities), so in the morning for their science class I'll give them the greeting:
Teacher: Good Morning GW House!
Students: Good Morning Ms. M!
Teacher: Today we'll be...

And then they'll be instructed to sit down and we will begin our lesson. 

I will be traveling from class to class (there are 4 classes I'll be teaching daily) with a cart with my things. I also have a science lab that I can reserve whenever I need it. (*The science department has a whole big family of Madagascar hissing cockroaches! I can't wait to come up with a lesson for them!) My work space (a desk and file cabinet) are located in a workroom with the other 6th and 7th grade teachers. I was blessed to have a wonderful teacher in my position before me who has left me an incredible amount of resources so my work area is FULL. As most of my family and teacher friends know, I'm also a hoarder of school supplies and teacher tools, so I'm REALLY at capacity at my work space. I will soon be taking over other parts of the school just as my predecessor did :D

The school itself is gorgeous. It's located in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of D.C. and is over 100 years old. They've really done the place up nicely and have utilized the space. It's a little confusing to get around seeing as it's actually two buildings that were built at different times just scrunched together, but I feel like I'm getting a hang of it. 

My co-workers and I explored the Columbia Heights neighborhood this week during our lunch hour. Most of them just moved to DC as well and live in Columbia Heights themselves. There is a great shopping area just about 4 blocks away from the school. There is a Target, Best Buy, Giant, 5 Guys, a great pizza place called 'Pete's' and much much more. I can't wait to explore it more! 

This weekend I haven't done much of anything. I've been getting settled in a little bit more and then Mike and I ran some errands together yesterday. I got some more plants for our front yard and got a plant for my classroom :)

We've also discovered a WONDERFUL dog park about 6 blocks away. Isla had a great time! We went down there Friday evening and met some wonderful dogs and owners. I'm so lucky to be in such a wonderful neighborhood! Our area is still diverse and feels like the city, but it's also where you can say "hello" as you walk down the street. 

This week we are starting staff training for all of the teachers at my school. The hours will be a little longer than last week- they are slowly but surely introducing us to the long hours. Thank goodness. 

On a sad note, my Godfather, Leon Craven, passed away earlier this week. He had been sick for a long time but it's still very sad to lose such a special person. I love him and his wife, Ethel, very very much and I wish I could be in Rock Hill for the service on Monday but unfortunately there is no way I can make it :(
I will definitely be thinking of him all day as I'm sitting at work. 

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