It's early November, which means we are in the heart of the best learning season of the school year. September is all about getting settled, changing rosters, going over rules and expectations, getting to know one another and getting into the flow of the year. October and November are the two months where we are really able to get down to business and teach...after that, the holiday frenzy gets ahold of everyone, and after returning from the winter break, it's all about PSSA test prep.
I really love this time of the school year, all your plans from over the summer are finally taking shape (and of course the gorgeous fall weather just makes things feel better), and you feel like you can really get things accomplished during this year. First marking period grades have not been entered yet...so for the students, the year is still wide open for them to make it their own.
With all of the budget and leadership craziness this past summer, and so many people not being placed in teaching positions until just before the start of school, I would say that the train has gotten itself back on track pretty smoothly. But then, that's because teachers are running things! We just know how to do it. I mean, you get classes full of children staring at you in September, you better start doing something, lots of somethings really...or you will lose control of the whole year from the start. Despite everyone's grumblings, no one wants to have a bad year in their own classroom, for the students' sake or their own, so smoothing out the wrinkles (even the giant ones here in the SDP) just happens as teachers begin their practice. I just wish credit was given to the teachers where it's due. Yes, in schools where the administration is supportive, they deserve credit too...but I've seen plenty of classrooms back in the swing of things at schools where the administration is sub-par to say the least. So, go ahead teachers, pat yourself on the back!
As for the district, it's still a mess...there's still money problems, leadership problems, safety problems, inequities...the list goes on. However, most teachers I see are going full steam ahead and are deep in the learning process with their students. Happy November everyone! Take a minute to enjoy the path you've now carved out for your school year.