Thursday, August 16, 2007

Back to school...

Today was our teachers' in-service day before school starts tomorrow. I've been dreading it, as usually my colleagues make me frazzled beyond belief (as those of you who've read my blog for the past several years know). But today wasn't nearly as bad as I expected. In fact, it went quite well. I had no desire to gorge on the chocolate in my bottom desk drawer. I don't know that I've ever left a department meeting feeling that relaxed.
The reason? Several new teachers. We have three first-year teachers beginning in our department, plus one student teacher. I don't know if people were just on their good behavior today or if the people who left to make room for the new teachers were that bad, but our entire dynamic has changed. I can't express how smoothly our meeting went.

I also met our new superintendent today. Again, a wonderful change. Our last superintendent insisted on being called "Doctor," while our new superintendent insists on being called by his first name. That is only one of many changes, but I think it speaks volumes about his character. As I think I've already said, I've heard great things about this man, and he lives up to the hype thus far. He seems as if he will be fair in making decisions, and he seems as if he supports the teaching staff, which is a huge change from what we had before. Plus, he's working to allow us to wear jeans on paydays...can't complain about that, right?

I'm really optimistic about this year. I'm feeling very prepared for all my classes. I feel good about both my department and my administration. And there are some younger people in my department, so I finally have teachers my own age to interact with. Plus, in a few short months, I will be a Mrs. Anonymous.

When the stress of the first few weeks hits me, someone please remind me to look back at this post. I really hope I don't end up eating my words...(gah!! Can't get rid of those pessimistic thoughts. Conditioned response, I suppose.)


rookie teacher said...

We're having some new teachers join our staff as well and even a new principal and vice-principal. I just hope that with all these changes everyone still gets along as well as we did with the "old" staff.

Hope your first week went well! I don't start until the 4th of September.

S said...

I enjoy your blog, and I'm making use of your "must-read" list.

I've also just started blogging myself, and am also doing so anonymously.

Would you be so kind as to take a moment to peek at my blog (, also linked through my profile)? I'd like to get linked up to other teacher blogs. I'd be more than happy to return the favor...once I figure out how to do so.

Thanks, and good luck this year!

Rob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RJH said...

My old department also had three new people join (one my student teacher from last year) and I'm sorry I'm in a different building and won't be able to see how it will change. I can't wait for next year, when two more people retire. If I'm back, we'll have a chance to finally start fixing problems and cease not talking to one another.

At least where I was, our problem isn't that we don't get's that we refuse to be honest and actually say what we think, and have honest discussions about what we think is best. We're so afraid to actually confront one another and get past the fake collegiality no work gets done.

I'm hoping that a CFG forming for the new teachers will help us all learn to talk to one another. Breaking down those walls will matter.

teach said...

Number of Ivy League teachers in an alternative certification program (Teach Kentucky) put together for other new teachers:

there's a great section of surviving the first week

Teacher X Tells all said...

I am so happy to know I am not the only person who leaves staff meetings in a bad mood and who has difficult co-workers. I tend to assume I am the problem or am not charitable enough even when dealing with the most difficult divas.

Congratulations on your new relaxed superintendent. We just got a new one and he is a cross between Dolores Umbrage and Voldemort.