“Do you remember me? You used to teach at Hope, right? Your sister-in-law came and spoke to us…” The high school senior smiled at me as she paused while I went back a couple of years in my brain to remember her face, and I did. She used to be a bubbly freshman when I helped lead the girl’s camp and taught for a short stint at the private school in Chicago that she attends; now she stood next to her boyfriend at the carnival on the south side that the last school I taught at has every summer. Seeing her reminded me that I am glad I tried teaching at that school…I did influence a few students…
After student teaching at a public school, I found I fit better into teaching at private schools, so over the last seven years I have worked at five different private schools; two Catholic schools and three private Christian schools — one international, one urban, and one suburban. Private schools have a different culture than public school that that takes time to learn.
Have you started teaching at a private school? Want some tips on how to transition even more strongly into that school’s culture? Here you go:
The past two weeks I had more melt-downs than usual (Yes, I am 29-weeks pregnant and had to take two gestational diabetes tests to prove I’m NOT diabetic—and thank God, I am not); however, part of this has been from a grieving process of graduating from the school system without plans to return to it on the horizon. Ten years ago I graduated from undergraduate college, but I was planning on going to graduate school within the year. Today I realized that some of this sadness is coming from seeing many “Back to School” things here in the United States and not being part of it after either being a student or a teacher for the last 30 years.
How am I transitioning out of this “school season” of my life? Continue reading
Releasing my students into summer happened a couple of weeks ago (huzzah!). Seeing the room without 34 desks, chairs, and students made it feel huge. On my last day at school, I took time to just sit and my desk and write out that list of suggested books for the summer (see: Young Adult Fiction to Read This Summer)
I’m just wrapping up my year of teaching, and I just sent off this summer book suggestion list to my middle school students, so I thought I would share it with you as well!
If the review is quoted, it is from Patti Tjomsland and her workshop’s “What’s new in Young Adult Literature” handbook that I received when I attended her workshop.
Shadowcaster (first book) and Flamecaster (second book) – by Cinda Williams Chima http://amzn.to/2tmYHyd
For the second book: “Ash is forced into hiding after his father is murdered and his own life is endangered. On his quest for revenge he meets Jenna who shares his hatred for an evil king.”
Heartless –by Marissa Meyer http://amzn.to/2st5om0
“Ever wonder how the Red Queen became so heartless? Catherine just wanted to be a baker and then she falls in love with Jest which leads to heartbreak.”
Genius: the Game –by Leopoldo Gout http://amzn.to/2sp1GZK
This book has a hanging ending! “First in a new series. Only 200 invitations go out to the best of the techies in the world for a huge competition. Tunde (an engineered genius from Nigeria) and Painted Wolf (an activist blogger from Shanghai) are invited and Mexican American Rex hacks his way onto the list. What is the real reason for this event?”
And there are more…
Especially after being rejected for many teaching jobs the years before, last year it was HARD to start filling out those Applitrack applications after my husband pushed me. He believed I could land another teaching job before I could.
Here’s a passage I wrote last July when I was applying to jobs and trying to figure out my negative emotions; I was answering the question, “Why is applying for teaching jobs so hard?” My answer back then: “I feel shaky inside and scared of being rejected, so it is hard to even try.
Last summer I snapped this photo and wrote these words under it: “Dream big!” I felt those words connected with this photo because of the sunflower was over 10 feet tall! Later that day I applied to the teaching job that I landed the next week. Sometimes nature gives us the inspiration we need to push ahead. I’m glad I’ve been able to be a teacher again!