Thursday, April 5, 2007

My spot...

I started this year at a new school.
An "F school" by reputation.
My classroom at my old school was fabulous!

Walking into my new school the first week was depressing. Everything was dirty and run down. The room was shambles compared to my last classroom.

...but there was spirit in the hallways. A community. Everyone who was there was there to make the school better. We were, after all, a faculty that had been handpicked by the Principal and the Superintendents' Office.

Things have changed drastically since the first week. We have a new coat of paint over the entire school, new windows and blinds, new carpet, some new furniture, new mulch replacing the *ugly* chopped tire that was in the flowerbeds, and of course more new books and teaching materials than we have room for (I always squeeze it in somewhere!!!).

Our school is truly a family...from the top down. Administrators, teachers, support staff, students, parents. My work environment has been a DREAM! At times stressful. Always busy. Usually tiring...but a dream nonetheless!

We are still a "Priority School."
So we still have regular visits from... EVERYONE!
  • The Commissioner of Education, with his entourage of 10-15 adults, came in before Christmas. Amazingly enough my students remained relatively focused while the adults fish-bowled the outside of the classroom during the lesson AND they were able to answer the "Tell me what you're learning about..." question that sometimes worries teachers a bit.
  • In the course of this year, I've have had the Superintendent come in THREE times... in MY classroom THREE times this year.
  • Also we have a state representative that comes from Tallahassee once a month to monitor progress...the last time I saw her she said she "would miss visiting us next year." (Possibly implying no more monitoring will be needed...)
  • This week we had the second half of our "Impact Study" by Reading First and I got the sole Doctorate-holding observer! She comes for most of the day, two days in a row. We did what we always do (when you have so many visitors, you kind of just forget they're there). Our Reading Coach reported that she saw everything in place they were looking for. *Yay!*
Our school is in the process of applying for a grant to make us a full-scale "Arts Infusion" magnet. Meaning we would no longer be a neighborhood school, ALL students would go through the application process. Since it's arts infusion we will be able to supplement all of our current resources (visual arts, drama, dance, music), a few new ones, AND classroom teachers. If we were to be classified as a "Fine Arts" magnet only the resource teachers could benefit from the funding. This is an amazing opportunity for the school...

There is not a doubt in my mind that I'm in the right spot.

*Pictures of my classroom this year coming soon*

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