Friday, November 24, 2017

Diary Of A First Year Kindergarten Teacher: First Entry

This is a fiction story about an inner-city school teacher's experiences. As a former public school teacher, I feel it's important for people to know what teachers and students go through on a daily basis.

Here is my interpretation:

Pin Me Please!

Monday, August 24
Dear Diary,

I am so excited to start teaching at my new school John Quincy Adams Elementary. I really feel like I'm really going to make a difference teaching students in an inner-city school. Adams Elementary school is a large brick building, surrounded by concrete on all sides, where a black-topped parking lot and litter strewn schoolyard reside. 

As I pulled into my parking spot early this morning, I noticed two rusty basketball hoops posted on either side of the schoolyard, but no playground equipment or grass for the students to use for recreation.
A handful of other early arrivals greeted me warmly when I climbed out of my car. After a round of introductions, we all started emptying our cars of bags and plastic totes filled with newly purchased school supplies, anxious to start decorating our classrooms.
Large metal cages, bolted directly into the brick wall, encased the windows that seemed to be made of thick frosted glass. I'm guessing that these windows were originally installed to eliminate unwanted distractions, but they block out the sunlight, giving the building a closed-in, institutional kind of feel. I know it sounds dreary but I will not be deterred by these bleak urban surroundings.   
After thirteen years of teaching Pre-K, I am eager to apply my knowledge and experience at the Kindergarten level. I feel that my prior experience will give me an edge to really help educate these children.

I know the academic and social levels my former students had achieved by June of last school year. It stands to reason that many of the incoming Kindergarteners will be at the same level; if they're not I will know right away and begin designing interventions curtailed to their individual needs.
I went into work today to get a jumpstart on my classroom.  To my dismay, the room had been cannibalized by other staff members when the previous teacher retired. The nice, long green tables that furnished the room in June when I interviewed for the position are gone, as well as the large group rug.

They appear to be across the hall in my grade partner's classroom. These vibrant additions make her classroom look bright and inviting. My rug has been replaced with a similar carpet that is both stained and dingy.

The tables in my room are rickety trapezoid-half-tables that need to be duck-taped together at the legs, otherwise the children will be able to pull them apart. That would be most infortuitous during instruction.

I shampooed the rug twice and after dumping out two bucketfuls of tar. I have every intention of doing it a third time tomorrow.

I found an abundance of mouse droppings on all the shelves and in the corners of the room and closet. I had to get rid of most of the chart paper because mice had urinated on it or chewed through it to make nests.

There was so much trash in one of the closets I started to feel like I was raking a pile of leaves, the trash came up to my mid-calf.

The room is a complete disaster. Except for some lined paper, a jumble of leveled-readers and some teacher manuals there are absolutely no supplies. My grade partner said it's hard to get supplies from the office, apparently they have it under lock and key.

I put in a requisition but I'm not hopeful. I've been with the district long enough to know that if I don't get the stuff I need myself, I won't get it at all.

I've made a list of the things I'm going to need
masking tape
duct tape
packaging tape
cubby labels
rug for the library
listening center
binders:  roll
               lesson plans
               reading groups
Sharpie markers
colored pencils
chart paper
book baskets
baskets for supplies
filing folders (to make student journals)
paper fluid corrector
dry-erase markers
bulletin board paper
construction paper
pillows/seats for the library
resource books for homework
clear sheet protectors (for reusable activities)

Please comment below on supplies you have bought for your classroom or child for school.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Lemon Drop Literary: Ellwyn Autumn Authors Show Interview

Lemon Drop Literary: Ellwyn Autumn Authors Show Interview: I am so excited to announce that my interview with The Authors Show has gone live.   Don McCauley was a wonderful host. What a great wa...

Ellwyn Autumn Authors Show Interview

I am so excited to announce that my interview with The Authors Show has gone live.

Don McCauley was a wonderful host. What a great way to promote your message. I'm so grateful for this opportunity.