Let the work begin.

25 08 2008

I was finally productive today. It was the first day of work at my new school and I am feeling exhausted in the best way possible. There is something about new teacher orientation that I like very much—-meeting new colleagues, observing administrators, comparing past experiences to my new ones. I like how it’s a slow acclimation to a new place—I have a full week of getting into a routine of waking up early, catching the train, finding the best walking route from the subway to school (Is there a good coffee place along the way? Yes. Can I catch the walk signs at the right time? No.) 

Today was basically one long meeting punctuated by some breakfast foods, introduction conversations, and a great lunch. It feels a lot like a dream to me still, especially after meeting all of the other new teachers. These people have come from all over the world, many have doctorates, and speak more than three languages fluently. I felt a little bit like a hick rag doll in comparison. However, I did sit next to a Brazilian woman and we struck up a conversation in Portuguese, and that was all very cool. 

My classroom? Has no windows. I’m in the “new teacher” classroom which is basically the armpit of the school. I’m not complaining, trust me. It’s VERY well supplied with everything I could ask for (except windows) and so I know I’m in a place that is supportive of its faculty and students. When the principal showed me my room, I looked around and asked, “So, is this the room they give to all new teachers?” And he smiled and said it was. “It’s the pecking order,” he said. And I guess it is, and I guess it’s only fair. I’m just  keeping my fingers crossed that there’s going to be a new teacher next year. Peck, peck, peck.

There is SO much to do to prepare, though. But I’ve got to say I have THE. NICEST. colleagues. I’m so eager to get to work with them. About my classes, I have no idea who my students are, what they look like, how to pronounce their names, or how many of them I have. I’d write about them if I knew anything, but I don’t, so I can’t. 

I’m so glad to be working again and to be doing something with purpose. This week is going to be a hectic one filled with meetings and gaining confidence in maneuvering myself around the city. I love starting new adventures, and I really hope this adventure lasts a very long time.


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8 responses

25 08 2008
Susan

First you are anything but a hick rag doll. You wouldn’t be the teacher you are and they wouldn’t have hired you if they didn’t think you were capable of great things. And you are capable! I know your new students are going to love you. Secondly sorry about that no windows thing. Not sure I could stand it, but hopefully next year you’ll get a window. Lastly, I know that all of us readers are looking very forward to “meeting” your new students and hearing about your new adventure.

25 08 2008
Joyce

Good luck with everything. As a colleague of mine once said, “Enjoy this time. Soon you’ll have more to do than you can possibly handle.” She was right. Have a great year!

26 08 2008
Norah Cleary

I am excited for you, Gina. It is so refreshing to read about your life and adventures!

26 08 2008
lynne cheslin

Congrats on beginning a new school year, a new adventure and finding your new java shop! As far as no windows go, here’s an idea……if you can find the right store, there are HUGE wall murals of different outdoor scenes and vistas that may do the trick to “opening up” your “closed” classroom. It won’t take long before the “pecking order” of returning teachers will sit up and take notice of all your special and very excellent talents…..you go girl and rock NYC!!!

26 08 2008
Catherine

Enjoy your new exciting adventure! It sounds like it’s going to be a great one!

26 08 2008
Nilsa

So much of the Gina I’ve gotten to know has to do with your teaching experiences in Brazil. But, you seemed to thrive down there, despite being so far away from loved ones. Now that they’re a lot closer, I can only imagine how far improved your experiences will be. Can’t wait to continue reading about your adventures!

28 08 2008
ladybughugs

Congrats on the gig that lets you get acclimated slowly even if there are no windows. I got thrown into the fire without windows, yeah, one or the other, not both! Kudos on finding the coffee shop en route.

Oh, and remember those Portuguese bath salt instructions? There is a dad at Scout’s school who is from Brazil. woot!

11 09 2008
Melinda

September 11th, I am a wee bit behind on your blog but have done some catch up reading now.
You sound like a wonderful teacher Gina. I think any teacher who is really interested in their students and eager to teach can’t go wrong. I would have loved having you as my teacher, I am sure! Lucky kids.
I hope your cold is getting better and you feel less tired. It’s all the changes and new starts! Cheers.

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