4th grade has also undergone major changes this year. We have made the decision to departmentalize. This means, we will have a three block schedule where students will transfer to each unique block every 90 minutes. The blocks are: a) Reading/Language Arts/Read 180/System 44; b) Mathematics (me!); and c) Social Studies/Science. This effectively means I have 73 students this year! Oh my!
I am ecstatic that I have the honor of teaching math. Now, this seems odd for a woman who majored in English, but I absolutely love math. Manipulating numbers has a poetic quality about it, and when you truly understand how our math system works, it is beautiful. Additionally, I did my teaching practicum in math - 4th grade fractions in fact, and my master's inquiry was in math, so when I look back on it, I'm not really that surprised! And I can't wait for pi day! (3/14) :)
This change is slightly overwhelming at the moment, as all the preparation that I have done this summer to prepare for Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies is no longer vitally relevant to my teaching. I am mourning the loss of some of the projects I had in mind for those subjects, but I plan on incorporating all subjects into math, so I may have to scale back, but I will not lose the other subjects.
On a somewhat different note, my principal is amazing. Not only is she incredibly supportive of the teachers, but she is supportive of our support staff. Last year, our support staff such as the school nurse, T.A.s, and office personnel had to supervise the students in the cafeteria during the teacher's lunch time. Now, the teachers will be in charge of supervision during the students' lunch time. We will eat with them and go to recess with them. We will have our true "off-duty" lunch period adjacent to our plan time. This way, the teachers have an opportunity to further classroom community, the support staff has the time and opportunity to complete their work, and teachers end up having a make-shift extended plan period. After all, let's face it, we are going to use those "lunch" minutes as plan time. Especially, since the plan time is at the end of the day!
Oh, and for anyone wondering how my foot is doing: more bruising showed up today, it's still swollen, but I can walk on it with only the slightest of limps, so progress is happening!