Last week was the first week of teaching classes for both of us. I will let Cyrus fill you in on his own stories, but here is one of my own.
Along with feelings of excitement and anxiety that go along with the first week of school, I felt sad. I thought it was because the we didn't close on the house on time, but on Thursday I realized I was mourning the loss of my classes and students from the past year. You see, I have had the unique opportunity of teaching almost the same group of students for two years. And the classes that were not repeats were the Cambridge classes and we had a special bond of forging the first year of the program successfully. I missed the students I knew and that knew me. It was tough to have 120 new students in my room and not know any of them. And they don't know me. I am sure I felt this way my first year but I was feeling too many other things to know the difference. Apparently this is not an atypical feeling for teachers so it has been nice to talk with my colleagues. I look forward to knowing this years students as well as that first group. And I think I made my first breakthrough with them.
Last Friday I taught a safety lesson that was a bit unusual. I started class by telling students that due to all the accidents we had last year (a harmless fib) our principal is cracking down on lab safety and has hired someone to give a presentation to every science class. The presenter's name is Ms. Cary Less and they need to take notes as they watch her demonstration about safety. Then I went in the hall, dressed up in a long black wig, fancy jewelry and all and came back in with a new voice. I acted as Ms. Cary Less and demonstrated a simple lab. I monologued the whole thing, exagerated whenever I could, made large sweeping motions and made a ton of mistakes. Some kids stared at me and admitted later they weren't sure if it was me at first. Some kids tried to get me to break character. Many of them laughed at me and with me. So after the skit I go outside, get out of my costume and come back in. They had to list all the things I did wrong and from there we made a science safety contract that we should use for lab protocol. It was a fun day. I think it broke the ice and hopefully they understand that I want class to be fun and relaxed as we learn. I'll let you know what happens.