An auspicious start

I have a cold.  Officially.  Mostly it’s in my throat and ears, though I have some sneezing and sniffling.  And yesterday, I popped my head into school for more than a few minutes, so it’s official, I’m a teacher.  I’m sort of bummed that I’m under the weather at this particular moment.  It makes it difficult to really enjoy everything that’s going on.  Next week is the real first week, with new faculty orientation, a faculty-staff picnic, meetings and other exciting things, so I assume I’ll be well enough for those things.

I’m in a kind of weird position as half teacher and half computing support.  I don’t really have my own classroom, though I’ve been told that I can take ownership of the computer lab.  I have an “office” in the library, shared with several other people.  It feels kind of transitional, though I hope to make it feel less so in the next week or two.  Yesterday, as I meandered the hallways, I encountered a small group of new middle schoolers participating in a prep week, intended to dust off the cobwebs in their heads and to help them transition to a new school.  Geeky Girl is not participating, simply because we didn’t know about it.  I smiled and said hello to them as I passed, delighted that they were all shorter than me.  It’s a first for me, having students that are shorter than me.  I tried to think about having them sitting in front of me in the lab, working, listening to me (or not).  It’s kind of breathtaking.

The lab happens to be across from the faculty lounge, so I met a few more colleagues, all of whom were excited that I was there, hoping to take some of the burden off of them for teaching “the technical stuff.”  I have some thinking about that I need to do.  But so far, everyone I’ve met seems enthusiastic and eager to do more with technology.

Today, I’m planning on decorating the lab.  It’s actually a nice space, with a bank of windows looking out into the hallway.  The other three walls are a gray bulletin board-like material and it is these walls that I’m going to spruce up.  Right now, there are a couple of old posters and a note, I think, about logging off.  All very dull.  I’ve been given free reign.  I’ve printed out some things.  I went to a teacher store and bought a couple of things, though I’m sorely disappointed at the lack of fun stuff they have about technology.  Internet safety and keyboarding, bleh.  Right now, I’m planning a corner with computer-generated art, an area for robots, an area with gaming and Scratch, and cute things everywhere.  I want it to be fun in there.  I promise pictures.

6 Replies to “An auspicious start”

  1. Looking forward to the pictures. I recommend making a home in the computer lab — I hate the feeling of not having a spot of my own, and I think it’s important to generate one, even if it’s only in the corner of a lab.

  2. I had posted to an earlier entry about possibility of incorporating origami in the graphics class, but the post never showed (and maybe it wasn’t very coherent). In general, origami diagramming is like computer programming. All the steps must be there and they must be followed in one particular order to achieve the final desired result. At least they would make good decorations, especially modular origami.

    And just for fun:

  3. Hurrah for decorating the space and making it feel like home! I’ll look forward to pictures, and I hope that you feel better soon enough to enjoy the beginning of school.

  4. Decorating is key– I started in my new classroom today, and making the space my own is a big priority for me before the students come. Once I have it done, I’m definitely taking pictures too–excited to see yours!

  5. I love origami, especially modular. I think its weakness in the school environment is that its non-trivial to explain the math behind it.

    Reading origami diagrams is definitely a skill, and the little kids I’ve tried to show things to haven’t been all that good at it. But, I have to try the diagrams out on some of those lego fanatic kids — they might be better at reading the non-verbal diagrams.

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