The First Day On The Job

Not technically, I actually started on Thursday, but all I did last week was run around getting paper work completed and spend the remaining time observing other teachers, especially the guy I’m replacing – the seventh grade US History teacher.

What I learned about him and the class which I will henceforth teach. One, he was very disorganized. Disorganized might be too generous. As evidence, I spent an hour and a half on Friday afternoon doing nothing but cleaning the crap he left off the desk. Two, he had no control over the kids, constantly issuing what would become empty threats if they did not be quiet, or do their work, or whatever. Three, and as a result of number two, the kids really liked him. They have not done anything productive yet this year.

Great situation, huh? I’m replacing a popular push over, and thanks to his disorganization, I do not have so much as a student roll, never mind any kind of educational plan for the year. So what am I going to do?

The organizing part won’t be too bad. I’ve already got a general plan for the next few months. The textbook is really great, and it has tons of supplements, which are scattered throughout the room. As I find them I’m sure I’ll be able to work them into the plans. Ditto the technology in the class.

As for the kids, well, they are going to hate me. I’ve seen them behave very well in other classes, so I know the reason for the chaos is not them. It’s a lack of discipline. I’m going to really hammer them. When they come to class Monday, for example, the first thing they’re going to get is a quiz on Friday’s material. I’m sure everyone will fail it, as I witnessed the complete lack of participation in the lesson when it was given, but they need to know right away that I’m not the old teacher and I mean business.

I’m gonna play the hard ass part, too. Full lawyer regalia, in fact I may not even take off my jacket. I’m not putting any pictures or personal touches on my desk. I’m going to call them by their lasr names (Mr. or Ms., of course). All they’re gonna get for an introduction is my name. And when I call on them to read or answer a question, I’m going to make them stand.

I don’t plan on staying that way. Eventually I’d like to interact with them in a more personal manner, and use more “fun” education techniques like AV stuff, group work, or games. But for now? This is my role model:

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3 Comments on “The First Day On The Job”

  1. Greenshirt Says:

    Try as you might, you’ll never be as scary as Sister Margeret Cordis.

  2. Willie Says:

    One of my favorite history teachers always threw in obscure stories that were somewhat related to the particular subject being discussed on any class day. I will remember always the story of the USS Panther in the Spanish American War. Students love this and will remember you as the greatest history teacher ever, and forever.

  3. Del Says:

    I re-read “Sometimes They Come Back” in Stephen King’s Night Shift today, and thought of you. 🙂


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