Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A New Aura

I have been moved to a new classroom this year. For various reasons, I am not terribly happy about it. Since I am (the only teacher) teaching chemistry this year, my principal wants me to teach in the chemistry lab. This makes so much sense that I can't come up with a good argument against it.

It's not all bad. I will move from one fairly small room to a suite that consists of a "lecture" room and separate, connected lab room. Now, any sane chemistry teacher would be thrilled with this because it truly is a perfect set-up. But as mentioned, there are a few problems.

Firstly, I have to move all my STUFF from my current room upstairs to my new room. Have you ever tried to move a science classroom? Do you have any idea how much STUFF there is in a science classroom? No, you don't. Even if you have a decent inventory of all your STUFF, I doubt you have any idea how much STUFF you have. Until you pull it all out of the cabinets and try to move it upstairs, you have no clue. For me, I am supposed to try to find a place to put all my STUFF in with the STUFF that is already in my new room. No easy task when you have (I'm pretty sure literally) a ton of rocks.

Secondly, did I mention I have to move all this STUFF UPSTAIRS??

Thirdly, and I think most importantly, the 'teacher' who has occupied this room in the past had a certain way of doing things that sits in stark contrast to how I do things. Namely, I expect kids to stay in class. Oh, I also expect them to do work.

Kids who have taken classes in this room have expected to do pretty much what they want, when they want. I have a sneaking suspicion that there will be a trigger in the minds of some kids that will make them think that in this room, even with a different teacher, anything goes.*

According to Facebook, there are rumblings of students not wanting to take chemistry or physics because the teacher will not be the same. Duh, why would you want to take physics if you can't get out of school thirty minutes early? I'm okay with that, but I am pretty sure there will be at least a low-level mutiny for the first few weeks of school.

The bright side is that I am not a brand new teacher, so kids at least know that I haven't allowed free-for-alls in the past. Of course, this is probably why the rats are fleeing the ship. That's okay, the fewer rats, the better.

I know it's coming and I'm gearing up for it. Wish me luck!

*The math teacher down the hall called this the "Room's Aura." Mine has a bad aura. This must change!


Laura said...

I had a similar experience last year. I was new to the (small, rural) high school. It seems the chem and physics teacher before me pretty much let the kids do anything. They used to use the eye wash station as a drinking fountain and it sounds like they never wore goggles when they actually did labs. It was a huge challenge with the older students because they weren't used to doing anything. Several students dropped out of my physics class, telling me as they left "its not you, we like you, but we just didn't think we would have to do anything this year." I suspect this year will be much easier! Hang in there and good luck to you.

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