Tuesday, August 25, 2009

School's in!

Counting the three days last week and the two days so far this week, we've all got a week's worth of school under our belts. Thought it was high time I gave an update.

Samuel is figuring out just how to manage getting up at an ungodly hour (5:15 am) to catch his bus at an equally ungodly hour (6:04 am), homework, x-c running, one shift a week at The Ice Cream Shop and keeping old and making new friends. So far, so good. He likes his classes for the most part, although his soccer elective is taught by the soccer coach and has much harder workouts than expected and his English class is a little 'eh' so far. He is thoroughly enjoying Spanish and Biology.

Moriah and Susannah started sixth grade and are back with all their classmates for the first time since second grade. Girdwood School is sorta kinda doing a middle school model this year, so the girls will have some fledgling experience with the middle school teachers and with choosing electives.

Moriah is 'stuck' in keyboarding because the other elective she wanted was full. But thankfully her teacher has found a fun way to get them practicing and Moriah's attitude has changed somewhat. She's also going to be in beginning band, choosing to play percussion. Percussion is really a set of 'bells' (looks like a xylophone to me) and a drum pad (rather than a real snare drum, much to my relief). She's pretty excited about playing and we have been blessed with borrowing a percussion set from a friend.

Susannah is in the coveted Outdoor Adventure elective and is spending most afternoons outside running around or going on the trails near the school. She is also going to be in beginning band, with the flute as her instrument of choice. At least it will be once we actually get one for her. In our free time. Once we figure out a time to get to Anchorage. At some point. Susannah's instrument choice is the smallest yet of all our kids' instruments and will be easily portable, in contrast to Samuel's cello that was not even allowed on the bus (!). Anyone out there have an old flute lying around, please send it our way!

I have quite the full plate so far this year. I have my usual six classes for the regular library classes. I also have a jr. high research class every day before lunch, which takes up about a quarter of my limited part-time time. I will have every kid in 7th and 8th grade as they rotate through my class, a technology class and a student government class. And boy howdy is this first group of students a challenge (all boys). They are allll over the place, and all of them have fairly high energy.

In addition to my regular part-time job, I'm also helping to substitute teach Spanish for the part-time World Languages position that is brand new to our school. Someone did take the job, but then bailed, leaving us high and dry shortly before school started. Rather than watch the position become jeopardized, I stepped in to help keep it alive. I cannot be an 'official' teacher because I don't have a teacher certification. But I did find out that I am eligible to be considered certified if I enroll in a certification program and take a basic competency test called the Praxis I. As I figure out daily lesson plans I also have to figure out if it's worth going for this certification. It is something I have thought about doing and it feels like this might be a great opportunity. Problem is, this might come with a high price for our family if Mom is busy with classes and working more. So I'll keep you all posted on what I decide.

The little girls are going to Little Bears three mornings a week and are happy to be going back to see all their friends. It'd be great to get them a couple of all-day slots, but things are currently full. That's great for our little day care but not so great for us. Child care continues to be an issue for my new 'full-time' job(s).

In many ways this feels like the 'same old same old' routine of years past. Get up, get ready, get to school, work. But in so many ways it's all brand new. Namely not seeing Samuel during the day and also working longer days. Well, and that whole getting up at that awful hour.

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