Sunday, August 31, 2014

September 1, 2014

I have had 10 PD days with DCPS/DC3 and 5 days with students as the 5th grade writing teacher. So far, so good!!

Today, the Sunday of Labor Day Weekend, my goal is to process all the information shared over the past 3 weeks. I plan to spend time doing the following:
* look closely at the school calendar and understand the important dates occurring at Janney overall and specific with the 5th grade.
* read the Personal Narrative On-Demands completed on Tuesday by the 5th graders and be ready to make a plan with my writing co-teacher (yes, 3 days during our school's 6 day week, I have another adult in the room! The other 3 days she supports the 4th grade writing teacher).
* add my notes and words of wisdom heard at the 14th Annual National Book Festival to my other blog. I so enjoyed my day yesterday that began with author Kate DiCamillo and ended in song with the author of Pete the Cat!! I can't wait to share all I heard with my writing students!!
* plan out the powerpoint lesson plans for Tue-Fri of next week! I have been using this format to help me ensure that I say the same info to each of my 4 classes. I'll admit that by the 3rd rotation, I start to question if I've said something so the ppt is mostly for me to clearly start the teaching lesson of each day. The ppt also helps my co-teacher know what I did on the days she is not in the room and helps her to see what I'm planning for those days she is in the room (C, D, and F days!).

I think I better stop blogging and get to work! But as I remarked in my last post, I can't wait to go to work on Tuesday!! By then I'll be well planned, I'll be teaching a writing unit that I'm used to teaching - personal narrative; I'll know my writers strength and needs and have a beginning plan to help them grow based on their On-Demand; and I'll be returning to a Responsive Classroom school where the students are used to sharing and playing and working collaboratively together.

I have been telling my friends from the district that I left that this school seems too good to be true...will it continue to be what now I think of as "my dream school"? Instead of spending time thinking about it, I'm just going to appreciate all that I know about Janney now and place lots of energy into getting my To Do List done today so Tuesday is another fun day of teaching!!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

August 16 - First week as a newbie in DCPS/DC3

What an amazing week!

Monday and Tuesday I reported via Metro to my new school - Janney ES. I am one of 14 new teachers and we spent two days learning the vision of the school and how this matches with my beliefs. We took time to get to know each other. Daily we started and ended the day with a Morning Meeting/Closing Meeting. I was asked to reflect and share and after two days I felt so lucky to be in a school that matches my beliefs so well and a place where I feel valued and am heard!

Wed I met the discrict head, Chancellor Henderson and again I was impressed. I love that one of the goal of DCSP is to get kids to want to come to school, to like school! The fact that they named it as a goal is impressive to me. They aren't taking it for granted. They know things need to be in place to make people want to show up. As I returned home on Wed, I thought how much I wanted to go to work on Thursday. The Janney staff in just days created that for me!

Thursday I learned how I am part of a collaboration of DCPS schools who together will grow as professionals during our shared professional development days. Very cool!

And Friday I had time to meet with the Instructional Coach to learn the suggested order of writing units and then time to set up my classroom.

Again, I can't wait to go to school on Monday! I find out my students' names tonight as it is being posted to the school website. Then Monday I will meet the entire staff and have time to work with the 5th grade team.

I choose this school because I get to be the 5th grade writing teacher to 80 students. I get to teach the subject I know very well all day long to 4 classrooms of students. I know there are many pluses and minuses to this model but I'm excited to report back here each Saturday to share how it is going.

After a refreshing July break, I am back in the classroom - this year a 5th grade classroom at a new school called Janney in a subset of a the disctrict called DC3 which is a part of a new district for me -DCPS.

The 2014-15 school year has officially begun!!