Yesterday was our first day with the new teachers! I think I've mentioned that I wear many hats at my school and one of them is Lead Mentor. My morning got off to a rocky start after reading this blog post titled Why I Hated Meredith's First Grade Teacher: An Open Letter to America's Teachers!
If you don't know much about me yet or have just stopped by it would be helpful to know that I have taught first grade for five years and I have L-O-V-E-D every second of it and this year I will be taking on a new position! I am beyond thrilled with the new opportunity but yesterday as I read this my eyes welled with tears and I had my first real melt down over not teaching first grade this year! I will not get to be someone's Ms. Miner this year and that made my heart ache! I have been THAT teacher for some very special little people and I know the feeling it gives! In an effort to pull myself together for the new teachers I texted two of my closet friends (mind you this was at 7:00am on their LAST free day before we are back to school) and they both offered their words of comfort and wisdom!
I was able to get it together and could not have had a better first day with the newbies! This year is unique in the fact that we have 12 new teachers (we are a pretty small school - 3 teachers per grade level 1-8 and all specialists). At times this has made me beyond nervous because I will be in a new position myself and Meghan and I have only mentored 1 to 4 people at a time so this group is rather large for us. We had a jam packed day and we were really worried about overwhelming or scaring off our new teachers with the list of expectations. We tried to make the day as interactive and fun as possible while also being informative and clear of what we needed from them! We started our day using Today's Meet to follow up from their county wide orientation the previous two days! I blogged about it awhile back if you want to check it out over here. It was a big hit and Meghan and I have all of their comments from the day right here which is a great take away for us to be able to reflect on the day and follow up on anything they mentioned throughout the day! I was so happy with the amount of teachers who were excited to take back QR Codes and implement them in their classroom! We plan to use Today's Meet at other faculty meetings and definitely tech trainings. Next we did an ice breaker with candy (for each piece of candy you took you had to tell about yourself) which was a great way to get to know everyone. It is so fun hearing what people have to say about themselves, we have one lady who described herself as Martha Stewart but in brown and she just cracked us all up. We have a funny, articulate and very talented group! After that we got down and dirty with expectations which is where we saw the panic begin! We tried to cruise through this and then hit the lab for some tech things. They had 2 hours for lunch and time in their classroom. Our AP treated us all to lunch with a panini bar and her as the chef in the lounge. It was a great time for everyone to relax and chat. After lunch the AP talked to everyone about evaluations and a few other admin things. For the best part of the day we sent the mentees on a QR Code scavenger hunt around the building to find key people and places! They were SO into it and some were even running from place to place with excitement. We closed up the day chatting about our meetings, brainstorming first week ideas and reflecting on the day again with Today's Meet! So many of the teachers thanked us for a great day and were very appreciative which made us feel really good.
We have such a range of newbies and I am so thrilled to welcome each and every one of them to our family. They all have great personalities, are filled with enthusiasm, have open minds and are willing to learn. They come from many different backgrounds and levels of experiences. I had such a great day and before I knew it it was 4:00. I was sitting in my room decompressing from being "on" all day and then I realized that these 12 teachers are my new babies... and that the teacher's of my school are my babies. I think I will be ok with being THEIR Ms. Miner! I know it won't be the same but it will be a different kind of awesome and I will be learning just as much from them as I hope that they can learn from me!