Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Operation Drying Rack

Today was our first day in our classroom - for me, that means classrooms - to set up and get organized, and this had been the first time I was seeing them. I share both my rooms with the music teacher. She teaches on opposite days that I teach art. I got my keys today, and it was very exciting. It wasn't as glamorous as I had envisioned. That vision included holding a handshake for a photo-op but that did not happen, not even close. I just had to sign a note card, not even my own note card, more like something you would find in the back of a really old public library book. I managed to get a lot done for one days worth of work, though I tried my hardest to get it ALL done in 6 hours.

When I got into my room, I had all these materials just waiting to be opened and organized. It's exactly like Christmas morning. I had a brand new drying rack that I was determined to tackle. I saved it for last, knowing it would be my biggest job. Turns out that the people who make this thing have never actually put it together with the tools they send with it...jerks. It took soooooo long to put together and I made hardly any progress with it but at the end of the day, it resembled something where someone might ask, "hey is that, like, a rack for art or something?" so I'll count that as a win for the day.

I also have part of my bulletin board as the 'Artist of the Month' - where I will put up a Getting To Know the Artist poster every month that features an artist who has a birthday in the month. September is Louise Nevelson (her birthday is September 23.) I'm going to introduce the artist at the 1st class of the month, then give out bits of information from the poster throughout the beginning of the month so I can give the older students an extra credit quiz on that artist at the end of the month, and the younger students an opportunity to create a mini-art project in the style of that artist.

This was the most productive thing I did today. I put up all the Elements/Principles of Design cards and the Spanish color cards. (My district has a lot of Spanish-speaking students.) I still am mulling over want I should do on the other side of my board, maybe an artist of the month within my classes-a place to display their best work that month? I also could only find yellow boarder, definitely not my first color choices but I can live with it, I think.

On the water

Yesterday was filled with lots of information, LOTS. We started out with a meet and greet type thing, where we met our mentors for the year. Our mentors do just that, mentor 1st year teachers, throughout the year. We meet with them several times a year and do mentor/mentee things. My mentor is a 1st grade teacher, but I don't know too much about him yet other than he grows a lot of potatoes and all kinds of garden-y things. He also takes care of the greenhouse at one of the schools I work at 1 day a week.

We spent the morning going over liability, TORT law and High Quality Schools Initiative, which was basically just going over how we need to be accountable and responsible and take preventable measures to ensure our student's safety. We at least have to inform them of potentially harmful things that may happen, but if we tell them first, and they still get hurt it's not really our fault, more or less, in the court of law, blahblahblah.

We took a Dells Duck ride to get to our boat ride after that and went on a tour of the Wisconsin River and docked to see some caverns within an island. Unfortunately, the beautiful path through the rocks leads you to a concession stand/gift shop where you can walk away with a souvenir plastic cup for $6-but refills are only $3. We had lunch on the boat, as well as some Wisconsin Dells trivia which landed me a sweet Dells umbrella. We got gift bags (that even included Wisconsin Dells logo'd tissue paper...) from the Convention Bureau that included a visitor's guide and a $10 gift card.

We got back to the high school (where all the information-getting took place) to hear from the Ho-Chunk Laison, ELL teacher, Business Office Orientation, and hear about the NEA/WEAC organizations. It was a full day!

This was our tour boat for the afternoon - I am originally from Chicago, so I thought the name of our boat was so ironic. It's so wonderful where life can take you!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I did it!

After months of applying for teaching positions (since April to be exact), I finally got the job. I will be working withing the Wisconsin Dells School District for the 2011-2012 school year at two elementary schools teaching K-5 Art. I received the phone call on Monday the 15th to come in for an interview the following morning. I went in at 8:30 for the interview feeling pretty confident (I had gone for an interview previously and walked out feeling very beaten down and not so proud of my performance) and ready to be myself and comfortable and to wow them. I walked out of the interview at 9:15 feeling awesome about the way it had gone. I told myself that even if I didn't get it, I was happy with it. I got 'the' phone call at 11:45 that I had been chosen for the position.

In the meantime, I had stopped to get gas on the way home, I was on E, pulled up to the pump annnnd did not have my wallet. Thanks to the help of some super awesome friends (who are also a super awesome couple-a true team in life) I was saved from the middle of nowhere gas station. It's never a dull moment in this life of mine.

If it wasn't for the amazing people who have supported me through everything, I would not be where I am today or have the confidence to go after my dreams. This job, the job of educating, is what makes my soul happy. I get to explore my rooms on Tuesday and have 7 days of in-service before I meet my kiddos. There will be lots to update in the next coming week!

This is the note my adorable fiance left for me on my computer the morning of my interview. I brought it with me, I think it helped me land the job.