Sunday, August 24, 2008

Back to school

Fargo is packed with Bison's heading back, or starting up as freshman, at NDSU. The mall is packed with kids eager to get their new school attire (as am I). Last night, downtown Fargo was full of the college partiers, starting up early before their semester officially begins. The weather is already changing, but I am not ready for fall yet. The past few days we have had some cooler temps, during the day and into the evenings. I woke yesterday to the temperature of 54 degrees and was cold. This all is a sure sign that it's that time of year, once again.

Back to school.

This past week has been uber busy with training and staff development. Friday we were finally able to sit down and workout our schedules, trying to group students according to abilities , including cross-grade level groupings. It went way to smooth. Then, we pulled in our ELL (English Language Learners) teachers and discussed the students that receive both ELL services and special education services, making sure our schedules blended. They did. Like I said, it went way to smooth. I would like to stay optimistic and say that no glitch will be found this week, but that's not too realistic.

Just like last year, there is going to be some change, and good change I hope. It is inevitable in the education profession. Our special education department will be taking part in a state-wide pilot that consists of using a web-based program for all of our paperwork. I am very excited, however, as I have probably noted before, I was trained to be the trainer at our school. The go-to person. Some teachers are having a hard time with this change, but I am almost positive that after a couple months they will be bragging about it.

In our ELL department, our district will be implementing a "newcomers" center. This will allow all our newcomers (refugees) to take part in half days at the newcomer center, learning the basics, vocabulary, expectations in the school setting, etc; and then will get to be with their peers for lunch, music, gym, and a some classroom activities the rest of the day. I am excited to see how this helps our new students adjust to the english language and expectations in the school setting.

We have added full-day kindergarten, 5 days a week. Previously, our kindergarten students would attend the Kindergarten Center half days, either in the morning or afternoon, with some of students who needed extra help participating in the extended day program the other half of the day. Our Kindergarten center is no longer big enough to serve all the kindergarteners in our district all day, thus a couple of elementary schools have taken a few classes. It will be interesting to see how these little ones adjust to all-day kindergarten. More and more parents are waiting an extra year to send their kindergarteners off to school. I give them props. It's amazing what an extra year can do for a child prior to starting school.

Monday is just around the corner and before I know it I will be sitting in my room with a group of students, as if the summer had never happened. But, I can honestly say (despite the handful of new students and transfers), I am ready for a new year, new challenges, and new learning. Our school district is growing very fast. A 2-3% increase each year in student population is average and expected. This year we have had a 7% increase, well over 400 new students. How exciting is that?!

Enough about school. I have a feeling the next couple weeks will continue to be busy. I am hoping that I will be able to get online here and there to check some blogs and post every once and a while, but I am not promising anything! I have a wedding this coming weekend and will be playing the role of personal attendant. I look forward to seeing family.

I know I have posted this video clip before (last year at this time I presume), but it is from one of my all time favorite movies and it's just perfect for today!



----

This morning I was able to get into the pool one last time before they close it up for a week for fall cleaning. It had been almost a week since I got in the pool. I took a few days off when I got my hair cut and colored, as it was starting to look and feel like I had lived in the pool. This was a great swim with a handful of sprints. I was in the pool for 1 hour and 8 minutes, but you could probably knock off 5 minutes for the rests I took between a handful of intervals! It felt great and this has been my longest swim to date!

OSN: 3000M, 1:08:00, 2:16/100M
(longest swim to this date)

Cheers to a wonderful week ahead of us all!

25 comments:

Lily on the Road said...

Where did the summer go? It just seems as though I was reading that you were off for the summer?

Your kiddies will enjoy being back with you, their teacher...make sure you give them great memories!!!

Jess said...

I miss fall. It's my favorite season, and we don't get it here in FL.

Enjoy your first week back -- I hope everything goes smoothly for you!

Ms. V. said...

Just reading your post made me tired. Good luck with your school year!

IronGambit said...

Adam rocks! :)

DaniGirl said...

Ah man, I just had a thought of that movie on Saturday when we ran past a bridge that had a penguin on it...I was wondering if I was drunk!!

Don't the days just go too fast? I am not ready for fall yet.

L*I*S*A said...

I'm not ready for summer to end, either. Drats.

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

It's that time! My kids are beginning week 3 of school, but I know they start earlier than most.

Great swim.

Badgergirl said...

Good luck with your first day back at school!

SUB6 said...

Good luck with the start of the school year! :) ... and congrats on that long swim - impressive!

mangotriathlete said...

Good luck with the first day! School is starting in this area too, as I'm listening to the morning news they are talking about the changes this year (bus routes, uniforms, etc). You have so much to prepare for it seems - all the training and staff development. Very exciting on the new students - I'm sure they will love to spend a year with you.

And woo-hoo for the good pool session! That's a long time to swim - and with sprints too, nice!

Wes said...

This is your second year teaching, right? You will be an old pro now!! ;-)

Eric said...

Billy Madison Rules!!!

Jess said...

Sounds like you are all set for the new year! And way to get a rockin' swim in before the pool closes.

Chad Aaron Sayban said...

Good luck with the new school year.

We have actually held our twins back, so they will start kindergarten when they are almost six. I think they are going to be much better prepared than I was. I was always the youngest in class all the way through school.

RunnerGirl said...

Love the video!

Also, I teach middle school special education (this year I have all 8th graders). They are a lot of fun at that age :)

J~Mom said...

I hope you have a great year!!

Ms. Math said...

I hope you had a great first day with the kids!

scott keeps running said...

Back to school. :( This summer has been too fun.

Erin Leigh said...

Hope today went well!!!

The kids are lucky to have you, you are so enthusiastic and that is great!!!

kelsalynn said...

I LOVE THAT SCENE...hell, I love the whole movie, what am I talking about?

Remember to find time for yourself these busy few weeks. It's hard to find the time but you'll feel so much better at the end of the day.

Steve Stenzel said...

Back to school. Barf.

And our pool is closing for 10 days too!! It must be that time of year.

Kevin said...

I love that movie. Hope your first day went well

Mendy said...

Wow, chica - that's a LONG swim. Way to go!!!! That's my pace exactly too. We could easily swim together.

Fall is my favorite time of year! I love fall, but this year I'm not ready for it cause I know winter is next.

Have a great first week at school!

Viv said...

Wow, great long swim pace! I hope you have a great school year!!

ECrunnergirl said...

Im right there with ya girl! We went back as teachers on Monday.....the kids will come in after Labor Day.....like the summer never happened. It always goes by so fast. I am also in special education (speech) and our division went to web based IEP's a few years ago. It was a tough adjustment but now I don't know how we survived without IEP online. Its SUCH a huge time saver! Good luck and have a wonderful school year! Best wishes from the East Coast!!