Saturday, August 22, 2009

LAIS - Here I Come!!

dun dun dun.. I will be a 6th grade math teacher at Lake Air Intermediate School!!!

Here are some facts about Lake Air:
- this is the first year it has been Intermediate (5th and 6th only!)
- there will be approx. 540 students
- there are 35 classrooms and 44 teachers
- the demographics are 39.26% black 41.11% Hispanic 19.26% white 0.37% Asian
- it is an IB-MYP candidate school

Since this is the first year that the school has been an Intermediate school, it means that 98% of the teachers are new to the campus AND it means all 100% of our students are new!!! This is exciting for me because I do not even feel like an outsider coming in, everyone is getting to know everyone and it has allowed me to just slip right in! I'm also the only Baylor Intern at the school and so it makes me feel even more like I'm a real teacher! My mentor teacher seems amazing and has even lived in Carrollton for a short time! She had Jessica Russell last year as an intern who is also from Carrollton and grew up in FBCC! This made us have a connection right off the bat and conversation just started flowing! I have a desk at the back of the room and have my own little set-up which I love. I will be bringing my laptop every day which isn't something I was counting on, but not a big deal! I am very interested to see how an intermediate school works because the 5th and 6th grade are verrry different! The 5th graders are on team teach and do not follow a bell schedule, while the 6th graders are on the bell schedule and the teachers are split into core departments. The 5th graders will have assigned lunch tables and recess, while the 6th grade can eat wherever and have PE 3 days a week and Health 2 days a week. There is a new curriculum that Waco ISD is implementing that is going to be very rigorous, but we don't even have to write lesson plans anymore. I have the first 17 days of the curriculum and its 130 pages front and back. The difficult part will be that the curriculum has not left any days for "reteach" or if you get behind we aren't sure how to catch up yet!

This is also the first year we are an IB candidate school. This stands for International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program. We will be doing certain things with the community and have 10 focus words that we spend a lot of time on during the year. If the students graduate highschool with their IB certificate, it is a world known accomplishment. All the boarding schools and international schools have been obtaining this IB certification, so if we become an IB school it will be a huge deal!!! Because of this we have 2 conference periods this year. So my schedule goes like this:
1st, 2nd, 3rd, conference period, 5th, 6th, 7th, IB planning period

Overall, I'm very excited and have been looking over my rosters all weekend!! I've already been cutting fraction strips (over 600 of them!) for the year and what I'm sure will be my wonderful 123 students!!! I'm pretty sure it will take lots of prayer and patience to get through the year, but I'm ready for it!!

I found that quote I was looking for:

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond imagination. It is our light more than our darkness which scares us. We ask ourselves – who are we to be brilliant, beautiful, talented, and fabulous. But honestly, who are you to not be so?

You are a child of God, small games do not work in this world. For those around us to feel peace, it is not example to make ourselves small. We were born to express the glory of god that lives in us. It is not in some of us, it is in all of us. While we allow our light to shine, we unconsciously give permission for others to do the same. When we liberate ourselves from our own fears, simply our presence may liberate others."

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Summer Coming to A Close!

After what seemed like the shortest summer ever, I have made my last first trip down to Waco!! ha This is what I'm sure will be the first of many lasts for me! I like thinking of all the things that I've enjoyed for now 4 wonderful college years!! It's so crazy. I remember Move-In day like it was yesterday and all the excitement/nervousness/crazyness that went into that day. Now, mom is a veteran at having teenagers and even college students (just don't tell her I used the word veteran!).
After answering the question "at what school are you going to be teaching?" all summer with "I don't know yet, I find out Aug 20th".......tomorrow is August 20th!!! I really don't think I'm even nervous - I'm just anxious and want to find out! I think I've done a good job of keeping my heart open and willing to go wherever they place me for my senior year. I would love to be back in the ghetto, I would consider it a blessing to be in a suburban ISD (much like I would experience in Dallas), and I would find it very interesting to be in a more rural ISD. It's astounding to think of how each and every ISD is so different around the Waco area even though they are all within 10 or 15 miles of each other! I would love to teach 8th graders again or have sweet, impressionable 6th graders again, or try 7th grade for a change! Wherever I am I hope God can use me to be a beacon for whoever needs to see him the most i.e. the children, my fellow teachers, the principal, the cafeteria staff, the counselors. There are so many people I will come into contact with daily that I have the opportunity to show them why I am who I am.
I pray that God would continue to work in the hearts that I will be working with daily and these first couple weeks are going to require a little more strength on my part because I am still mourning the loss of my dear friend, Emily Stuller, from this summer. I keep thinking of how she could have affected so many students this year and how her students will be missing out on an incredible teacher. I will miss her so much during these first couple weeks, but I thank God daily that she is hangin out with him in Heaven and I will be reunited with her one day.

I can't find the quote I want to put right here for now.. maybe I'll find it for tomorrow.