A Fly-By Debrief

3 Sep

After a t00-short vacation, a move to a different city across California (and therefore a different school), my first post of the school year!

Since I’m still quite a bit overwhelmed with adjusting to my new school and their crazy block schedule, just a few quick notes to get me warmed up:

  1. I went from a 4,500 student school to a 450 student school.
    PROS: More teacher/student interaction, more teacher/teacher interaction. Less political, logistical mess. Gotta hire people you like. There’s 5 people in our math dept, including me.
    CONS: less options for kids (Spanish is the only language offered here, although I think this was the same at my old school too b/c of budget cuts). Less room for movement in students’ schedules. There’s 5 people in our math dept, including me.
  2. I went from a district public school to a charter school.
    PRO: NO MORE UNION! I’m sorry, but in the six years that I’ve taught, all the union people were the worse teachers at the school. I’m also quite ignorant in the workings of modern day unions though. Another pro of a charter, they can choose where to place their money, like in keeping class sizes small. Like 25 student MAX- small!!
    CON: They took that money from prettying up the place and from materials for those small classes.  I have no projector or smartboard or CBRs or a document camera for my classes. =( Boo. But hey, Asian schools are never about the technology they have or how nice their classrooms are, just about their lessons.
  3. I changed from LAUSD to SFUSD.
    I actually don’t know whether this is a pro or con, but they don’t have “neighborhood” schools here. For example, you don’t just get to go to the school across the street from your house. Every school in SFUSD is filled by lottery. You apply your kid to six schools of your choice and they randomly select you. It’s supposed to get rid of some of the disparity between poor neighborhood schools and wealthy neighborhood schools. It seems better than the busing system, but parent/teachers were saying how the wealthy can always take their kid to a private school if they don’t like where their kid gets accepted into. My opinions on this are not fully formulated yet.
  4. I changed schools.
    PRO: There is MUCH more diversity here. A statistically significant amount of Latinos, Asians, Blacks, and Whites. They also love Google here and use Macs! I have an “advisory,” which is a class I get to see twice a week from their freshmen year til they graduate. I also get to have all my classes for an entire year, pass or fail. Small school expectations are awesome- like having all their materials! or working the entire 95 minute period! Simply amazing.
    CON: More diversity means a very glaring achievement gap here. Oh, and I miss Poly kids terribly. I miss Poly faculty terribly. I have to start all over, from gradebooks to any and all relationships. I have no advocates for me on the first day. I gotta earn my stripes all over.

That’s my stream of consciousness regarding my move for now. My lessons have been less than fabulous and I’m running on Survival Mode yet again. If I survive the day w/out fumbling around stupidly in the front, I’m happy. If I get out of school before 7:30, I’m happy (they set the alarm at 8, thank God.)

But one of my goals for changing/moving has been a success so far, find happiness after school hours. Things do look very hopeful here. It was time for a change. =)

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