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A concerned member of the human race

Friday, September 5, 2014

So, How Do You Know It Was a Good Day?

Most New York City teachers met with their classes for the first time yesterday.  It was a day to set guidelines, create the organization necessary for a smooth and productive year and learn some names.  So, I'm ready to go tomorrow--at least until a handful of new students pass through my door.  

I'm pleased with the day.  There were no surprises.  These usually turn out to be bad things at the high-school level.  Not a single student stood up and pointed their finger at me to ask how come they got stuck in a classroom with a merely effective teacher, instead of a highly effective one.  Everyone was civil.  

I have reason to believe that it will be a good year.  You might ask me how I know.  It's probably just a feeling--and a feeling that in and of itself tends to make that feeling a reality:  La Vie en Rose.  If you're looking for something more concrete, I did have three students in three separate classes ask me which supplies need to be purchased for class.  I don't ever remember this happening before.  

A vision flash before my eyes.  It looked something like this:

Deja-vu all over again.  I relived my kids' grade 2, 3, and 4 supply list.  I felt wholly inadequate before my high-school students.  I was tempted to tell them to acquire 1 box of crayons (48 count Crayola), 4 large glue sticks, 1 box of classic markers, 1 black Sharpie regular point, one black Sharpie fine point...and so on and so forth until I reached the twentieth item.  I could have added a cherry to the top by asking students to label all their markers, scissors, etc., with their name.  I resisted.

So, what did I tell them?  I told one class about the amazing class lists required at some elementary schools that help ensure learning is truly fun and relatively painless.  I did not tell my classes to get markers though.  I asked them to have a notebook in one form or another with a section designated exclusively for history notes.  I told them they would probably want loose-leaf paper for homework because I would collect it regularly.  I also told them that they will need a pen every day and a pencil for multiple-choice sections of tests.  Looking on the bright side, I was happy that I did not need to ask my students to purchase a test-prep review book...yet!

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