Thursday, August 21, 2008

Things I've Learned

These are things that I've learned:

1) Ramen is not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Still a bit salty for my tastes, but not bad.

2) The names of all of my students. Without cheating by looking at the attendance sheet. I'll still have to do a quick re-cap for another day or two, but I nailed 100% (except for my identical twins in period 8, who, I kid you not, live up to the "identical" part of their twin-ship).

3) That it is possible to survive the first few days without wanting to die.

4) That it is also possible to, on the first day, barely eat any breakfast, skip lunch, have a bowl of ramen for dinner, and then on the second day have a cinnamon roll, skip lunch, and forget to eat dinner, and still not be entirely hungry. I'm going to eat. Don't worry. It's just that I have to remind myself to do so.

5) That 14 year olds are really impressed when you've got their names memorized by the end of the second day.

6) I only have one student who considers herself "a writer". And a whole bunch who claim an active dislike of writing.

7) They still write when I ask them to. Without complaining.

8) That it is possible to largely skip meals and still be moderately functional.

9) That I feel less homesick when I have lots of work to do

10) That I am still looking forward to going back to Lincoln as much as I'm looking forward to anything else right now.

11) That I do not know how to respond when I am asked "What do you believe about evolution?" and "What are your religious beliefs?" within minutes of each other. I want to be honest, I believe in an open, honest classroom, and I believe that, above all else, teachers must do everything they can to encourage that openness and honesty by modelling it. But this type of question has bigger implications.

12) That sleeping is easier without crickets.

13) That I still have no idea how much material my students have covered, or how much work I'll need to do to get them to where they can do the work I want them to do. This is why we have vertical curricula based on skill-sets used toward problem-solving, people! To prevent things like this!

14) That I am going to make a delicious smoothie tomorrow morning, and also a delicious sandwich for lunch. And I will do such things with gusto.