Now I can say with certainty that I am getting a true “public school” experience (even though I am at a charter school). There are quite a few struggles that I must adapt to and just overcome if I want to be succesful. I was completely flabbergasted when I found out my students do not get to take their textbooks home. Logistically this means I need to plan homework and worksheets thoroughly in advance but emotionally I feel so conflicted. Honestly I wouldn’t respect the property, school and staff if I wasn’t trusted enough to take a book home or worth the investment of purchasing a book. I need to find a way to let the students know that I respect and trust them. Also, there is no available technology in the classroom, the computer is not hooked up to anything and there is no projector of any kind which rules out power points, you tube videos, etc. I used the smart room so much this summer that not being able to show funny math videos of kids dancing, funny cartoons or Mr. Sweeney’s awesome videos really bums me out. And finally lateness is a HUGE issue – I want to make sure that my first activity is engaging enough to bring students in the classroom on time but not too important that students who are constantly tardy are missing key concepts/instructions/etc.
I really hope I don’t get too frustrated if my students don’t meet the high expectations that I’ve placed. I don’t want to lower the bar for them because so many other teachers have but I know how easily I became discouraged this summer and hopefully will remain positive throughout the next 11 weeks. I don’t want to fail these students the way they’re used to most teachers letting them down.