The First Day is Always the Hardest

February 6, 2008 at 7:21 pm Leave a comment

Today was my first day taking over as the full-time student teacher. No more shadow/co-/team teaching. Thrown to the wolves, I am!

And of course, it wouldn’t be worthy of dragging myself to the computer and blogging if it weren’t an unmitigated disaster*.

It all started yesterday evening. I knew that I had an hour or so of prep work to do. I had a three-hour laptop battery and a two-hour event to attend that night – no problem, right? Or rather, it wouldn’t have been, had I not opened my laptop at the event to find a bone-dead battery and no power plug in sight.

I got home at about 10 PM and figured I would make it just fine. I could get done in an hour and get some sleep, right? (Ha ha ha.) Three computer crashes and four rewrites later, I finally crawled into bed significantly later than 1 AM.

Woke up early early early and got to CHS a few minutes into Zero Hour. I logged into the computer, remembered that our classroom printer was broken, and sent a print job to the main printer in the workroom. Walked down to the workroom – printer is down. Returned to computer, printed to secondary printer in workroom. Walked to the workroom – no print-out. Tried again. Nothing. Troubleshooting revealed that my intranet connection was down. I finally resorted to rebooting… and then couldn’t log back in.

We’ll fast forward through the comic scene of me running through the school, trying to find a computer that would read my files and print to a higher-load printer, finally getting the copies I needed just in time for 2nd period to start. (We don’t have a 1st period class.) Two hours of panicking. Two hours of deciding exactly how much I needed my handouts, of deciding I didn’t have to have them, but that I was going to have to completely rethink how I was going to do things…


And then I proceeded to forget everything I ever thought I knew about good teaching for an entire day.

Uhm, hello, Mrs. Bees? Direct instruction isn’t effective. Neither is talking for more than five minutes straight – much less thirty. Oh, and while you’re at it, you’re teaching tenth graders, not college students. Spending an entire class period introducing a unit and the required projects is a bad bad bad idea.

Don’t ask me what I was thinking. Or do, because I know the answer: I was thinking that I was uber-excited about the content, and that my assessments were uber-cool, and that the kids would be excited to find out what they were doing, and that they would then naturally (or rather, naturally if you’re used to the college scene) want to start off with an overview of where they would be going.

This is not the case when you are 16. When you are 16, you just show up and let the teacher tell you what to do that day. You don’t care about syllabi, course calendars, the over-arching scope of the unit, or even the fact that there are units at all.

Note to self: high school is not college, even in the accelerated classes.

Also, lest I had forgotten: teaching is dehydrating.







* It wasn’t actually that bad, but it wasn’t that good, either.


Entry filed under: BAD DAY. Tags: .

All About Mrs. Bees Diary: Thursday, February 14

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The Bee’s Knees

This is the teaching journal of a student first-year second-year THIRD-YEAR (!!!) English teacher. I am writing this blog as a reflection for myself, a way to keep friends and family updated, and a sharing-ground between other educators online. I love comments!

I am striving to maintain anonymity on this blog so that I may more freely interact with my fellow edubloggers. If you know who I am, please help me protect my anonymity in your comments. I use pseudonyms or initials for everyone I write about to preserve their anonymity as well.

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