It's probably best that I didn't have much time to post until now as it turns out that stress makes me a little complainy and grouchy and in need of "Death by Chocolate" ice cream (thank you Mike!). But, as of today I am caught up with planning (which is all I can ask for at this point), have had a nap, and am perfectly capable of giving a balanced report of the job so far.
Most important lesson learned thus far: be honest. I am on all four of the grade level teams, and so I had a ton of curriculum planning meetings. I was feeling totally overwhelmed and guilty because everyone else had everything planned in some detail. I most definitely did not. After much vague description of a fake sequence of units, I finally just came out and said, "Yeah, I got hired a week ago and I am teaching four entirely different classes. I don't really have anything planned, and I'm probably going to copy whatever you do." And then everyone realized, "That girl might need some help." And I didn't have to lie anymore. Much better.
Next lesson: high school is not at all like jr. high. Call me crazy, but jr. high was a ton easier. There are a lot of reasons why, but on the flip side of that there are some fun things about high school. Like not having to teach them how to staple their papers, which may have been a continuous issue for the 7th graders. It's also very interesting to teach all four grades- the differences between the grade levels is a lot more pronounced than you'd think.Also, turns out, the word "dialogue" is both a noun and a verb, but when it is used as a verb it makes me gag and roll my eyes in derision. Sorry about that everyone in all of my meetings.
Successes (thus far):
*A short discussion with a 10th grade class about how zombies are totally "in" right now won me some major brownie points.
*I read the 1st chapter of a book about the English language with the 12th graders (all linguistic-y and cool) and they now want to read the entire book. And love learning about English.
*My parts of speech review with the 9th graders today was more or less amazing. We played a game where they took word cards (like the refrigerator poetry magnets) and had to race each other to make sentences with certain parts of speech (1 adverb and 2 adjectives, or 2 prepositions and 2 conjunctions, etc.). Sort of great and terrifically educational. At first no one can label a single word, but mid-game they're explaining, "No, this is an adverb not an adjective because it describes how she ran."
Yep. I'm a teacher.