Sunday, September 20, 2009

Back to School with the Street Team!

Michelle Ward's Street Team Crusade for September is "Back to School". As a classroom teacher and lifelong learner, I had to step up.

I have not had my own classroom for 2 years but have a (new to me) full time teaching position ~ see the post just prior to this one. The school where I teach is a continuation high school. Students at this school have not been successful in the larger and more traditional school environment. The approach to education for these students at this school is definitely unique and different than any experience I've had before ~ and I've been teaching for 12 years. There are about 70 students total, and I am one of 5 teachers at the school. My primary subjects to teach are Integrated Science, Biology, and Chemistry. I am also teaching 2 electives, Art (YAY) and Yearbook.

Am I learning a lot? You bet! Not only about how the school works, and each of my academic areas, but especially about some of the students. With 70 students there are 70 stories, and AT LEAST 70 reasons why they are here at this school. These students are 'at risk' kids: some are in the court system all ready, some are affiliated with gangs, many have drug abuse issues, and the list continues.

So what are they teaching me?

Plenty.

The common thread I have seen, thus far, is a general lack of being engaged in the system. Many of these students might be considered 'outsiders' on a large high school campus, but at our small school there is a much greater sense of community.

The teachers all meet daily, after the students are gone for the day, and often the principal is there as well. We can all share observations, concerns, and successes. The collaboration is awesome and makes it very difficult for any of these students to be unnoticed or anonymous.

Although overwhelmed at times, I am confident I am in the right place.

My dream as a teacher ~ and as a person ~ is to do my best to make a positive difference in people's lives.

Waiting for this particular door to open, and stepping through, definitely gives me an opportunity to do so.

All of you in blogland inspire this with the constant joy and generosity you share daily.

The Girl's All Right!!!

Just super-duper-uber-busy with my NEW teaching job!!!
After not having my OWN classroom for 2 years.... I have one now. YAYAYAYAYAYA!
I am teaching at a high school for struggling students, primarily science.
I have students enrolled in Biology, Chemistry, and Integrated Science. As you can see from the book stacks, LOTS of preparation required.
I am also teaching an Art elective (BIG YAY on that) and Yearbook.
After 2 years of trying to find the 'open door', this one definitely feels right.