August 13, 2009

The Life of A New Teacher...not exactly a walk in the park

It's Back to School week for all teachers here at Colegio Bolivar and it has flown by!  I cannot believe our students will be here on Tuesday! (Monday is a holiday here, so we start Tuesday)  In the midst of organizing my classroom, cleaning, decorating, lesson planning and such, I have had the opportunity to start to get to know my way around the school and my fellow colleagues.  I think Colegio Bolivar is going to be a great school to work at and I am excited to see how the year unfolds!

One minor snag in my lesson planning this far: I do not really have a specific Algebra I textbook to teach out of, and that's my class title....crap.  Before I got here my school used a program entitled Integrated Mathematics I and II.  These textbooks combine Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, and Statistics ideas interwoven in each chapter.  I guess in some ways this helps students learn math on a more continuous level, and not so separate.  HOWEVER, the 7th grade teacher uses Pre-Algebra books and the 9th grade teacher uses Algebra II books. :/ So I could really used some Algebra I in my life. Basically to solve this problem I am going to teach Algebra I curriculum and sequence but out of the Integrated Math I book.  This means we will be jumping around a bit in the book, so hopefully my students adapt! 

Another interesting teaching fact from today... During the middle school meeting with Student Support Services & counselors we discussed accommodations and modifications for students with disabilities or special needs.  In Colombia, students who receive accommodations to their curriculum (For example, everyone else writes a 10 page paper, but the student struggles with language so he/she writes 3 pages) only receive the US diploma at graduation (US diploma because Colegio Bolivar is an international school).  Essentially, the Colombian Ministry of Education does not really acknowledge special education yet and so students with accommodations are not given the same "reward" as other students.  After all of the laws passed in the United States regarding people with disabilities in the last 20 years or so, I find it so odd to be in a culture that seems about 30 years behind in this aspect.

ANYWAY, on a brighter note: OUR BOXES ARRIVED!!!

All 4 of the boxes I sent to Miami arrived safe and sound, and we could not have been more excited (especially because we were told it might still be a few weeks until they arrived)!  Maggie and I spent most of Tuesday afternoon unpacking them and organizing.  We now have actual knives (no more butter knives to cut veggies & fruit), pots & pans, salt & pepper shakers with snowmen on them, all 3 MN Twins bobbleheads, both Twins sweatshirts, all rubber duck themed decorations for my bathroom, shoes, office supplies, Gavin DeGraw & Joe Mauer posters, and more!! So excited!!!

Maggie getting ready to unpack and discover what we shipped a month ago!

Lastly, my classroom is still a work in progress, but here are some recent pictures of some of the work I have done! :)  Enjoy!  Again, thanks for all the fabulous comments I have been receiving from people; I love hearing from all of you!!

Back wall of my classroom with bulletin boards.

Bulletin board with baseball theme: Joe Mauer poster & quotes from A League of Their Own
"It's supposed to be hard.  If it was easy, everyone would do it.  The what makes it great"
"Are you crying? There's no crying! There's no crying in baseball!"
(and yes I did write OR MATH underneath it...)
My completed number line and another poster I made with a little inspiration from Charlie Brown.  "In the book of life, the answers aren't in the back."
Front of the room and my desk!


TT said...

Love the classroom! Especially the Mauer poster and the quotes. I am sure all of your students will, too! They will think you are nuts, of course, but will love their surroundings!

Nicole said...

Oh look at our little math student now blossoming into a dorky little 7th grade algebra teacher! I love it!!! All of your inspirational quotes to try and motivate the clueless 'nicoles' of the world is truly amazing! :)


Hey, you've got a great blog - just thought I'd leave you a comment to let you know. Thanks so much for sharing it !

Anonymous said...

I love it!!!!! I'm so jealous :)

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