Week 1 Reflections
I unlocked the door with a shiny new key and discovered my new room. Inside were thousands and thousands of books that were in the process of being catalogued and returned to the refurbished school library. Once the space was free of all the boxes and unused furniture I knew I would be able to convert the space into a stimulating learning environment. It would be a new chapter and provide new opportunities.
I carried into the classroom four archive boxes and small bar fridge. Inside the crates were my most prized belongings. Among the contents were photos of my wife and children and recently acquired Master of Education certificate. Although I arrived with limited belongings they were in some degree all that was needed. After sixteen years in one school I had acquired a depth of teaching experience. Having worked as teacher, Assistant Head of Primary and P-12 Digital Learning Coordinator I knew I had the ability to start again and make a difference.
With tenacious enthusiasm I relocated the teacher desk and located photos for easy viewing. I loaded the drawers with new stationery and established the work station. I took a seat on the swivel chair and admired the space and potential. With vigorous speed I set to cleaning down furnishings and then assembled groups, collaborative areas and laminated signs and displayed posters. I accessed drives and servers and familiarised myself with curriculum and printed required resources. I aquainted myself with the material and digested its content. I printed desk labels, rosters and programs that would aid my transition into the school. I left exhausted, pleased with my efforts and locked the door behind me.
The evening before school started I received a text message from the principal saying, "Great job on your room!". Possibly the best positive feedback I've received from a principal, I read the message with a sense of delight. The message was truly meaningful.
I awoke on the morning the class would arrive with a spring in my step. It was a pleasure to meet with new parents and students. To start the day I outlined class expectations, routines and classroom procedures. I outlined gestures I would provide to limit my need to talk and also described required work ethic. Throughout the week I reinforced classroom values and introduced online resources one by one so the students were not overwhelmed. Furthermore I ensured we touched base with each text book to identify routines, expectations and required standards.
I am enjoying working within a new institution and do not expect for my sense of gratitude to fade. Witnessing a different school culture has broadened my horizons and already expanded my thinking. I've been invited to be part of the school 'Pedagogical Coaching and Mentoring' team and this is an exciting addition to my responsibilities of teaching and assisting with eLearning. Probably the most valuable lesson I have learn from the last week after working within one school for sixteen years and beginning at another is that schools are mostly all the same; parents, students, staff, curriculum, assessment practices, feedback, technology, resources and classroom design. The only difference is the bond between them.