So tomorrow I start my 14th year – 6th as a math specialist. This is officially the longest I’ve been in one school- my third (3 years, 5 years, and now starting my 6th) and the longest I’ve done one job (3 years, hot mess of new position each year for 4 out of 5 years, 6th year). I think that this would be scary had I not stumbled into the land of the MTBoS. I get bored easily. Doing the same thing for 6 years would be super lame. But due to the awesomeness of all my math friends, teaching math is super fun and exciting. It does, however, make my brain spin on overdrive a little bit! Getting through the hum-drum of Back to School – not quite as exciting.
Today I was talking with the other math teacher to get ready to start tomorrow. We had to discuss assessments, summer homework, syllabus, Back to School Night, etc. It was necessary and we had good conversations about what we needed to do. I’m sort of bossy and I told her exactly what I wanted to say at BTS Night and how I wanted certain things changed. She was good with it, or at least she told me she was! I sat with a somewhat heavy heart as we talked about the assessments to split the classes in 2 (I know, I know… totes not supposed to. I’m sorry). I didn’t want my kiddos coming back and handing them a test on day 1. That would be lame. Having left my Back-to-School folder at home, I couldn’t remember what we had started off with last year or what else was in that folder from previous years. I told my partner that I would try to come up with something because I really didn’t want to do tests day one. She said she was good with whatever I came up with. In our duo we have decided that I’m all about the big ideas but I have zero follow through, and she has no ideas but will make mine happen! Hey – at least we know our strengths. So I went to grab a bite (I had the most delicious sandwich, in case you’re wondering) and came back to see what I could come up with. Well…
I went to the site which shall not be named to see if I had purchased any super fun things for BTS. I printed out a few things and my ideas started to build. I texted Hedge and asked her about the best choice of a list of things I was thinking about given a shorter amount of time. She mentioned Robert Kaplinsky’s In-N-Out lesson which I had read about on her blog. I knew I wanted to do it this year, but I wasn’t sure we had time. Armed with a bunch of choices I went down the hall to chat with partner teacher. She decided she didn’t care if it took multiple days and I got so excited. I showed her Robert’s site and Hedge’s blog post and told her her hw was to read over them. From that point on, excitement for the year finally kicked in! I’ve been giddy all night just thinking about doing such a fun lesson tomorrow!
I should point out that our BTS is very different than most because we know all our kiddos. I have had them since 5th grade and my partner was there last year. I taught all the 7th and 8th graders when they were in 5th and then I’ve taught half of them in the other years. I only have taught half of the 6th graders because they were able to be split last year. I still know most of them though. So there’s not so much need for the procedures and getting to know you type activities. I finally looked at my partner and just flat out told her I wanted to do math. I think the kiddos will appreciate it! It’s a nice feeling to be super excited for the first day (despite my room not being finished… oh well). I hope that this lesson will be a great kick-off for a wonderful year!