Saturday, July 16, 2011
up and running again
Ok blogger and I have made a truce and it is time to start posting again. It's been over a month and big changes have occurred in my work life since I last posted.
Last time I wrote I was trying to transfer schools to a part time, middle school only, position at a much nicer school in my district. My admin was being very unpleasant about my desire to move and I was worried that the new school would not want someone who is going to have a baby in early November.
However, to my great surprise, and relief, I revived the job and have been transferred to a new school. Best yet they hired me full knowing that I will be going on maternity leave over the winter quarter.
I could write a novel about how happy I am to be heading to a new school. How relived I am to only be working part time next year, how I NEVER want to plan 9 grade levels of curriculum a week ever again. How my new school has a actually art room, full of supplies, money to buy more supplies, a school community that gives a crap about the arts. How I'm going from a 92% free and reduced lunch school to a 32% FRL school and from the 4 highest ESL population to the 7th lowest in the district. How the weapons expulsions at my new school total ZERO so I doubt I will have to see a knife, brass knuckles or homemade explosive again for a long time. I don't think my new school tolerates students shoving, hitting, sexually harassing or calling their teachers stupid fucking bitches the way my old school did. I hear they don't have problems with the kids dealing and using pot during the day or bringing water bottles of vodka to school.
Or let's consider the fact that as a middle school teachers, instead of a K-8 teacher, my NEW contract says I get prep time during the day and there is a limit on the number of classes they can ask me to teach and how long they will run (no more 9 classes a day that run 22min long for me!)
Granted I know a higher SES school brings its own challenges. Students that feel they are entitled to things and parents that hover and make heavy demands. However, the school I'm moving to has always supported the arts and has an excellent reputation for supporting their teachers. And I'm no pushover by this point.
I feel I have a strong base curriculum for 6-8th graders and now I can dedicate my time and energy to improving my curriculum instead of trying to spread myself over 9 grade levels. So for you, loyal and newer readers alike...the days of k-5th lessons are over. Sorry. However, I feel most art curriculum can be simplified or enhanced to match the grade you work with. So it is not all a loss.
It will be very interesting to take in the 6th graders who all come from true elementary schools (a rare-er thing in my district) and unless a visiting artist has come in or a student has taken art after-school or during the summer, will have NO previous art instruction. I'll be looking into lessons that build skills, build them fast and do it in non intimidating but age appropriate ways. In that regard I bet I will draw on many of my 3rd-5th lessons and tweek how I present them.
What my new students will think when I waddle my 8 month pregnant, 5ft tall, self into the classroom the first day? I'm sure it will be very interesting and I'm sure ammusing. I'm predicting I will be asked what happens if I start to have the baby during class;) Get the health teacher I guess;)