Week one of my new job is done! We only had students on Thursday and Friday (today), but the rest of the week was jammed full of "professional development" and meetings. This semester I have mainly upper level freshman classes, which means the last couple days has involved lots of wide eyes and not a lot of conversation. The students were just starting to open up a little bit today.
Observations on my new school and job so far:
- They've done an excellent job keeping class sizes down. Science classs are capped at 24. If it's a lower level class, they're capped at 15. It's not just a "desired-but-not-implemented" goal either.
- Technology-wise, the perception within the school is that they're ahead of the curve. They have LCD projectors, a few interactive whiteboards, and six laptop carts (for 1400-1500 students). From my perception they're behind the curve. I miss networked copiers, dual-screen LCD/computers, and four laptop carts for 400 students.¹
- I'm bugged that no staff meetings, professional development, or other teacher events seem to start on time. They've all actually started between 10-15 minutes after the scheduled time.
- I'm clueless on a lot of school policies and procedures, and I'm not sure who to go to for information. They need a cheat sheet of some sort for this stuff.
Overall, I'm definitely glad I'm here. It seems like it'll be a good fit, though there's some culture shock coming from a small school in Michigan to a large school in Connecticut. I feel like I'm subbing for someone else. It doesn't feel like my school, or my classes, or my classroom yet. I guess it takes a bit for 6 years of growing accustomed to a certain environment to wear off.
¹ Though interestingly enough, most staff and students at my old district seemed to feel as if we were behind most schools in the tech department.