My class sizes are really small too, which I didn't expect. My biggest class has 12 students and my smallest has two kids! I love that I get to work one on one with my students and really get to know each one of their strengths and weaknesses. My greatest struggle right now has been having no curriculum or math tools. When I came into my room last week, there was an empty desk, an empty filing cabinet, and an empty closet. No text books, no work books, no teacher's guide, no math manipulatives...nothing. So, I'm building my entire curriculum from scratch right now. I spent 12 hours on Saturday and another 10 hours on Sunday putting together my first unit on decimals, and it is far from perfect. I was told by the district math training supervisor that I should be getting a curriculum in about a month...but that is contingent
on funding and was originally supposed to arrive weeks ago. So for now, I'm planning on preparing for 5-6 week units and I'll be pleased if I get a curriculum by Christmas.
I've been limited to 1,000 copies every six weeks in my employee account. I ran out of copies in three days :( Since all I'm using for my kids is worksheets and guided notes and tutorials that I create and print, I am going through lots of copies. Plus I had a syllabus, folder organization guide, homework log, and a few other "getting set up" materials that I wanted my kids to have. Lets do the math: 50 kids x 4 days of 5 copied papers each= 1,000 copies. :P I was told that my copy status would monitored and I might get additional copies. I sure hope so, because when I tried to make copies last Friday the copy machine shut me down.
While I feel so blessed to have a job in a beautiful school with a great administration and staff, I have had a bit of a sad couple o
f weeks. Many of my closest friends here in the valley have not been so fortunate as to get jobs here in the valley. Two weeks ago, my good friend Deborah got a call from a school that partners with the Philadelphia corps and within two hours, she was packed up and on the road. We were all sad to see her go, but she is an incredible young woman with a ton of enthusiasm and passion and I know she will make a huge impact in Philly. Then last weekend, one of my roomies, Meg got a call from the Conneticut corps and hit the road the next day for a job in a charter school there. Meg is super sweet and I really value the time we spent together as we waited for employment here. She will be the best new Spanish teacher in the state of Conneticut, but our house sure felt a lot emptier without her. This Monday, my other roommate Anne was offered a job in Tennessee and decided it was her best option at this point so we went out to dinner at Joes Crab Shack and said our goodbyes over crab legs and margaritas. Anne will be missed here for sure...Karen and I still can't bear to deflate her air bed in the living room so it's just sitting there all made. And Karen has a job lined up in Austin if the Boston corps doesn't open up in the next few days. I'll very likely be saying goodbye to her in the next week as well. Then it will just be me and the giant cockroaches that show up in our apartment on a frequent basis. Ugggh.
It has been a bitter sweet month, but God is faithful and I'm going to keep trusting Him to provide new friendships and a roommate and to take care of my wonderful new friends who are spreading their joy and passion to children all across the country now. This really is becoming quite an adventure- I guess that's what I asked for ;)
Pics of Me, Karen, and Meg with our napkin US map & Deborah and Anne