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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Definition of fun: district wide inservice

For all of you sitting in an inservice before school starts and counting the seconds until it's over, count your blessings. I sat in a district wide inservice today provided by the district office over a polycom system. Polycom is a video conferencing system that the school district uses to communicate and even teach classes to some of the villages in the district. Some of the village schools in the district are so small that they do not hire a math or science teacher. The district has a distance math and distance science teacher who teaches classes via polycom. So today from 8:20am until 4:30pm we were in a district wide inservice taught by the district office personnel. The inservice was prodcast to all the schools in the district via polycom. So basically we sat there and watched(pretended to watch) the distrist personnel on a TV screen. I couldn't even tell you what all they talked about because literally noone was watching the inservice. Everyone was surfing the web or catching up on the summer. The noise level in the room was so loud that you couldn't have heard what they were saying on the polycom if you wanted to.

I got a little bit of time after lunch to work in my room. My classroom is a total mess. Basically, it's been collecting junk for several years and has had several teachers in the last several years. I've heard it called the "junk room" and "the packrat room" by other teachers in the building. The best though, was when I found a whole drawer in my desk with old ziplock sandwich baggies with leftover chips, crumbs and bread crusts in them. A WHOLE DRAWER!!!!!! There must have been 30-40 baggies. Craziness! I've got my room almost cleaned up now though and it will be getting remodeled this summer. So, if I decide to stay here in Bethel I'll have a new room next year. I guess that would be worth the baggie surprise. I do have a smartboard in my room which is really cool and I have two sinks. woowhoo


On the upside, they raffled off a bunch of really cool door prizes and I won a hat! Althought I would have much rather won a airplane ticket or free hovercraft ride.

So far I 've worked five days officially. All new teachers in the district had three days of training and culture class last week on Wed, Thurs, and Fri. It was really cool to get to know all the other new teachers. All the people who are in the same boat as you. Hopefully we stay afloat! :) There were about 50 of us there. Can you believe that ? 50 new teachers in one year! LKSD has the biggest school district in bush Alaska (I think) and the district covers the size of about two or three Ohio's combined. Aside from several schools in Bethel, there are 26 or so villages with schools. I think about ten of us new teachers were staying in Bethel and the rest were all headed out to villages. So many of them are first year teachers, too! Aside from the three days last week...we had a teacher workday yesterday with just a quick meeting in the morning to introduce ourselves and then today we had the amazing, action packed district wide inservice. Tomorrow will be the school wide inservice and Friday will be another workday, then we start school on Monday August 20th. On the first day at my school, only the 7th and 8th graders come and we basically have like a team building day with the junior high kids. All students come to school and we start regular class on Tuesday. I will be teaching 3 sections of 8th grade physical science and 3 sections of 10th grade Biology. I have already met several of my students and I will have several of my coworkers students in my classes as well. Avery starts school on Monday too. The sixth grade is still in the elementary school here. Actually, they have a K-2 school and a 3-6 school. Avery will be at Kilbuck and it's about a block from our house so that's nice. You can see it out of our window. It's a purple building with a blue roof and trim. It's interesting. They have recess here until -20 degrees! That's right....NEGATIVE 20!

I'll post pics soon!

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