Tuesday, September 14, 2010

First Two Weeks of School

It might not come as a big surprise to you, but I have switched schools yet again this year and I am teaching at another technical academy in the southwest part of Vegas. The school is Southwest Career and Technical Academy.

The school is very similar to the one I taught last year, but the campus is incredibly different. The program areas are all broken up into different buildings and it definitely has the feel of a college campus (only smaller). I teach in the Design academy (majors include: web design, video game design, entertainment engineering, fashion and interior design, broadcast communication and film studies).

I don't know my students incredibly well yet, but I enjoy their quirky sense of humor and their general enthusiasm. I am teaching 6 sections of world history (2 AP classes, 2 honors classes and 2 regular) with about 190 students. I love my classroom, it has tons of natural light and I even got a SMART board this year. It works like a big computer screen and so I can surf the internet with the students and do other fun stuff with it. I need to get some training on the board this year so I can fully utilize its abilities in my classroom.

I spent a good two weeks getting my classroom set up this year and I am glad that I gave it the TLC that it needed. Everything is organized and well-situated. I have been able to successfully keep my desk clean this year, all my grading is caught up and I even have my lesson plans written in advance. My goal is to keep this momentum up so that I can always feel I am on top of the work, instead of drowning in it.

In two weeks the principal is taking a group of the new teachers to San Diego for a day to check out High Tech High, a school she would like us to model ours after. My friend Julie went last year and was really inspired what what they are doing with their students. I love getting the opportunity to grow and be challenged and I am really looking forward to this trip.

The other big school related news is that I have decided to work towards my National Board Certification this year. It is the highest certification a teacher can get in the United States. There are only 210 teachers in Clark County and 2% of the teachers in the nation with this honor. I have been to a couple of the trainings so far and it will be a daunting task, but because I am so organized this year and with doing a little bit at a time, I think I can get my rough draft portfolios completed before winter break. There are 10 portions to the application process; 4 portfolios and 6 tests.

There are four other social studies teachers that I am friends with in the district that are also planning on working on their certification as well, so it will be nice to have some support from colleagues.

I will take some pictures of my classroom this week and get them posted so you can see where I work. I am excited for what is in store of the rest of the school year.

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