Wednesday, August 22, 2007

First Day

The first day only reinforced what I've been thinking all along--this year will be very different from the last two years.

Some highlights that make the differences:
  • Not once today did I hear "That's not fair." due to my classroom policies.
  • The administration supports my suggestion of the removal of some students from an honors class because they didn't do the summer assignment (that they had all summer to complete).
  • I was able to take some time to just chill during the school day.

My first class at Catholic University will be on Tuesday. With determination, I decided to go ahead and take the classes. It was actully an easier decision than I had anticipated, largely because I realized that I actually am interested in the sociological effects on information, information technologies, and informatoin accessibility.

So here I am, with a bunch of papers all ready to be graded. Will I do them tonight? Probably not. That wold send the signal that I'm a very fast grader. It's a precedent that I'm not comfortable setting.
I'm very encouraged about the year.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Last night was a tough one.

Classes haven't even started, and I've considered leaving the program. Part of it is financial (CUA's program is about three times as expensive as UMD's); part of it is the stress of being on both sides of education.
While financial aid is generally a wonderful thing, it has its share of problems. I had been planning on taking only one class this semester to test the waters. Then, I would probably take two classes in the spring and apply for a scholarship that would make me full time. Here's where the problem lies: financial aid is only available if I take six credits or more. One class is only three credits. So, I'd need to add a class or pay for the other class entirely up front.
So this is what I'll do. I'll take the two classes this fall, and drop out if it seems like it'll be too much to handle. I don't think it'll be too much, but we'll see. I'll also take two classes in the spring and apply for the full-time, full-ride scholarship as well as the MLS program at UMD, where the credits will hopefully transfer. If I get the scholarship (or if I feel extremely confident about spending the rest of the degree time at CUA), I'll stay there. If I don't get it, but I do get into the UMD program, I'll transfer.

Hopefully the breakdown of last night will be the only one. My wonderful wife promised that she'll do what she needs to do in order to help me get through it all.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

About this blog

I suppose I should have expressed my goals for this blog at the onset. Here it goes:

In the summer of 2007, I made two very large changes simultaneously. First, I was hired at a new school, although it is still a private school. Second, I was accepted by the Catholic University of America (in Washington, DC) as a candidate for a Master's in Library Science. I'll be taking classes at the same time that I'm teaching classes.

This blog is an attempt to chronicle the first year (or more, if I feel ambitious) of the combination of these two ambitions. I'll be sharing stories from the two schools, as well as my frustrations and excitements.

Please join me in this journey. I'll need a lot of support in doing this.

All New Things

For the past three days, I've been at school, prepping myself for the inevitable invasion of students into the building. Several teachers have expressed the same sentiment: these days are filled with anxiety; it all gets easier and more fun when the students get here. Since it's not my first year teaching, I'm not horribly nervous about the students' arrival. Let me qualify. This school is very different from the school from which I come. It's more academically sound; discipline concerns have a very different focus; the students tend to be better off (both financially and in parenting). All these things would generally make me very nervous, but here's the distinguishing thing about this school: I graduated from this school (although it was at a different campus at the time), my parents both teach at this school, and my brother is a senior (I'll have him in class). I'm really excited about beginning the year, and I'm sure that I'll be more nervous as the first day of school gets much closer.

I encourage your comments, questions, and advice.

Enjoy the reading.