The Challenge of Back to School Meetings

For me, Back to School time is kind of like a race. 

On August 1, my mind grabs a microphone and commands, “Start your engines!”  So I revise my syllabi.  I organize and decorate the classroom.  I distribute the yearbook and begin working with my staff to develop this year’s theme.  New classes are prepared.  Advisement Welcome Back card’s are mailed.  The countdown is on to Back to School week.

And finally, it’s here.  This is the week when I’ll be helping to train the frosh on our technology procedures, meeting my freshmen classes during their orientation and leading them on their first service event.  The campus is brought back to life this week.  Freshmen will be here for orientation and seniors are here to lead it.  The sports teams are hosting tryouts.  You can feel the energy around school and you’re ready to dive right in.  The checkered flag is waved. “Go!”

“Go…to your meetings,” that is.  It’s so anticlimactic.

We are a private school, so no district-wide PD for us.  Instead we meet as an entire coworker group to review, update and remind.  It’s important.  It matters.  It’s worthwhile.  But it’s also tedious.

I don’t know about all you other teachers, but when I’m in “teaching mode,” I have the focus of a Jedi.  I’ve psyched myself up.  I’m excited and rejuvenated.  The last thing I feel like I should be doing is sitting around and talking about teaching. Just let me teach already!

I know the Back to School meetings are important (especially for teachers who are new to the school).  It’s just a challenge to be “back to school,” and yet, not.

Today we had a meeting in the morning, followed by lunch in the cafeteria.  (We were the guinea pigs for the cafe’s new healthy menu.)  After lunch, I worked in the classroom – AGAIN.  Le sigh.  I know I’ve said this before, but I really do feel like I’ll be able to finish up the room tomorrow.  Today, I got all the posters on the walls and worked some more on the bulletin boards.  

Besides working on the classroom, I also met with one of my co-teachers.  The two of us split the freshmen class for theology.  We do things are own ways, but it’s good to share ideas and collaborate.  Last year, I began using interactive student notebooks with my frosh.  I’ve adjusted the way I plan to use them this year, so I gave her a tutorial on the system.

So my total for the first day back is 9 hours.  One more meeting day to go, and then, (finally!) the race will be on!

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