In which I’ll take it

Higher attendance than I expected today, and in general I feel pretty good about my classes. You never really get a good idea of who they are on the first day, but for now I’m going to call today a good start.

Meanwhile, I’m going to collapse in front of something mindless. I owe you a review of Jade Legacy— the tl;dr version is that it’s every bit as phenomenal as the two previous books– but I don’t have the energy tonight. Sometime in the next couple of days.


I said in my introductory video for my kids yesterday that I was expecting this to be my second weirdest first day of school ever, only getting beaten out by the first day of school that I missed because my son had just been born the day before.

This may have been weirder. I’m trying to put a heavy emphasis right now on being accessible to my kids, right? I don’t want anyone anywhere to be able to use “I couldn’t reach my teacher” as an excuse to not do what they’re supposed to be doing. And I know that this is the first day of school and that things are going to calm down, and frankly that’s unfortunate. I was expecting to have maybe two or three kids at a time in my little Google Meet room for most of the day, with occasional periods of time where there was no one in there. What I was not expecting was that kids were going to log in and that they were just going to stay there. I had sixteen to twenty eighth graders in my virtual “classroom” for three straight hours this morning, some of whom came in at 9 and just stuck around for the whole time. Probably a dozen, at least, were in there for more than an hour, and literally all I was asking them to do was pop in and say hello, since we’re not doing any real instruction just yet.

I have also learned that Google Meet is going to be entirely unacceptable for trying to actually do synchronous teaching, because I don’t have remotely the level of control over the meeting that I need to have. I can’t boot kids or mute them because they can literally unmute themselves or come back in immediately. I don’t really want to have to boot kids, and I don’t know to what extent disruptiveness is even going to be a thing in this, but I need the ability. So we’re trying Zoom tomorrow, which I think they have installed on their Chromebooks but I’m not 100% sure. We’ll see what the numbers look like compared to today.

And then, after three solid hours of listening to 8th graders try to yell over each other, which doesn’t sound tiring even as I’m sitting here typing it but trust me, I had to do three hours of professional development this afternoon, and … Christ. It’s 6:30 as I’m writing this, I’ve basically been working since 9:00 this morning, and I still need to record tomorrow’s lesson in its entirety, so I’m not done yet.

This will get easier, it always does, but man, am I tired.

Proof of life post

In all honesty, the last two days have gone as well as I could possibly have hoped. Better, even, since I never imagined “as well as I’d hoped” to actually be a possibility and therefore they exceeded that impossible barrier.

But I’ve been home for about four and a half hours and I’ve been staring mindlessly at my phone for about 90% of that time, so I may be too tired to string thoughts together coherently at the moment. I’ll try harder tomorrow, I promise.

See you on the other side

I am as prepared for tomorrow as I’m going to get.

I will post a real post tomorrow night provided that I remain alive.

For now, I’m going to take a shower and go to bed early and hope I can sleep.

A brief first day report

Odd fact: when going through previous posts for posts about teaching to possibly include in Searching for Malumba, I discovered something interesting:  I have not talked about the first day of school on most of the first days of school since I’ve been blogging.

Possibly because I get home and I am too tired to qualify as a living thing.  So, the short version: my homeroom girls are nice.  Scary nice.  Like, “I don’t believe you, and we’ll see what I think of you in a week” nice.  My afternoon kids… well, let’s just say that class is still in flux, because that’s where my special education kids are going to end up and we’ve not finalized class lists yet.  “In flux” sounds like a fair way to put it.

So… what is that?  Cautiously optimistic?  I’ll go with cautiously optimistic.