This has certainly been a ‘week of firsts’ for this educator!
* The first time starting school on a Monday, at least that I can remember. Talk about exhaustion – after starting off with 5 days in a row, PHEW! Next week will seem like a vacation. The kids seemed to take it in stride, as is often the case. The adults are the tired ones.
* The first “Heat Days” (as opposed to “Snow Days”). As the temperatures topped 90′ for the umpteenth day in a row, schools were taking extraordinary measures to stay cool. I heard of everything from several Midcoast schools dismissing early or canceling school and sporting events and practices, to Eddington Elementary School bringing in fire trucks to soak the students.
I’m fortunate that I work in a new school with an air cooler system, so we were pretty comfortable. I wonder what some of you did to make it through this heat wave?
* U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan visits Maine to recognize King Middle School in Portland for their programs in Experiential Learning and Looping. His 8-state tour sought to highlight innovative practices that are achieving results. I’m not sure how innovative they are, as these have been best practices in Middle Level Education for over 25 years. But it is wonderful that the practices are being recognized as the effective strategies those of us in the Middle have valued for all these years.
* Ending the week with Earl. And to top it all off, a hurricane. Leave it to middle school teachers to make their curriculum meaningful – the Health teacher at my school (Jolly Hall – Medomak Middle School in Waldoboro) assigned her students the task of designing emergency kits for possible power outages, evacuations or other weather-related emergencies. Who knew that iPods were essential for emergencies?
* And all this in addition to the annual charges and challenges to: get all that beginning of school paperwork in, schedule fall testing, plan open house, set your yearly goals with your administrator, have 1 or 2 fire drills (huh – I was just interrupted while writing this by fire drill #2.), raise student test scores and on and on and on. We accomplish all this with a smile on our faces, a cheerful word for all our students and colleagues, and the expertise of seasoned and soon-to-be seasoned educators. Because we know we really do have the BEST JOB IN THE WORLD!
Happy First Week of School, whether you have already started or you will be starting next week.