|Students during a Google Hangout on the 4th day of school.|
I took advantage of my summer just like I should have, but I overestimated my ability to get back into the flow of things as quickly as I should have. I felt, going into my fourth year, that I knew what I was doing... especially since I was teaching all of the same material as last year. Quick story, then I'll come back.
I used to work in life insurance. Not the door-to-door, or even "come into my office and we can talk" type. I was customer service. They called me. I had worked customer service in other types of jobs, and I enjoyed it, but there was something about working for an insurance company that eventually got to me: the monotony. People called me, had an issue (from a missed payment to making claim on a policy), I helped them to fix it, and we were done. Most of the time.
There were horror stories from this job, but I worked because the money was decent while I did my broadcasting thing on the side. The hours were solid, too. 7:30 - 3:30 and I was done; I could leave everything at the door. I took advantage of the schedule by getting my teaching certification and calling high school sporting events for a nearby radio station. But the monotony of the job just drained me. Seriously, ask my wife. I was a clock-watcher, and a whiner (I still am a bit), and it was painful. And when I started teaching I knew one thing at the very least: I would never have another monotonous job - the kids would always change! Back to the original focus for the post: apparently in the back of my mind I forgot that I had to prepare for a new year because I thought it would be the same as before.
Add to that: preparing for a 1:1 classroom, a new system for updating Macs, a student-teacher, and the joys of completely new staffs for both newspaper and yearbook (a combined seven students that were in either class for their second year), and I found myself trying to keep my head above water.
But, I now think I'm ready. An observation from @dschoening reminded me that I'm on the right track. And my (internal) whining lessened. Thanks. So far, I've had no real issues with the technology (other than network problems, and they seem to have been smoothed out as of Friday). The kids seem to be used to the expectations for using the computers, and the procedures are becoming the norm. It's getting better.
My philosophy has always been that if you do the little things well, the big things come easy. I'm starting to get the little things done. Unfortunately, maybe a week too late. Lesson learned.
Oh, and I started my next grad class: Intro to Research. This should be thrilling!