A Full Week

A coyote at the side of the road, looking both ways before crossing.  A beautiful turquoise-spotted lizard outside my bath window.  First furry-tailed chipmunk I’ve seen around here.  A lone javelina crossing my driveway a few days ago.  Today a mother and two babies, all by themselves.  No herd.  Terrified of me, they wouldn’t stop for a photo.

Our monsoon season, with thunder and lightning, strong winds and incredible downpours.   Cloud build-ups every day, even though they explode into rain only twice a week, have brought up the humidity (49% right now), and with that the blooming of the texas rangers.  Asphalt paving is rippling all over town, from the heat, heavy trucks, and city budget cuts.  There are asphalt waves in some downtown locations.

The Job

I have been doing paperwork every day since Monday evening when I found out that I had passed the AEPA HS math test.  (Yay!)  Now have a teaching certificate in hand, and the very real prospect for a position at the high school ten minutes from my house.  Asked my friend who teaches there to put in a good word for me, which he did on Wednesday, the teachers’ first day.  Turns out a math teacher had quit the previous week to take a job in a private school, so it was a bit of serendipity for me and the principal, who called me immediately.  Will substitute while the district office processes my paperwork.  After that the principal said they’d “take care of me,” but of course we have not discussed salary, benefits, etc  yet.

Even though I hadn’t been approved by the substitute office on Thursday (had yet to get my MMR shot and the principal had to check my references), being proactive, I met with the head of the math department to get my class lists and set up my classroom.  I will be teaching geometry, college algebra, and one class of AIMS math for kids who flunked the Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards test, which must be passed for graduation.  One geometry class has 39 (39!!!) students, although the teachers say that attendance is so bad I’d never have that many students on any given day (!), down to 13 students for AIMS tutoring, which is basically teaching the test.   Note: only 15% of senior passed AIMS math last year at this school, although 26% of juniors, 36% of sophomores, so it is looking up, but you get the idea of the challenge I have before me.

Continued a few hours on Friday afternoon with the math department meeting and meeting with the head teacher for geometry and the head for college algebra, to get books and materials for the first week.   (There are 13 math teachers.)  Note: decreased budgets hit not only the classroom size, but the supplies.  We do not have enough textbooks, all of which are well worn, for all of the students, so I have class sets which the kids have to return at the end of the period.    And went in yesterday, Saturday, to figure out the Smartboard connected to my classroom computer.

Combining the simplicity of a whiteboard with the power of a computer, the SMART Board interactive whiteboard lets you deliver dynamic lessons, write notes in digital ink, and save your work – all with the simple touch of a finger.

Will keep you up-to-date on education today in Arizona.

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6 Responses to “A Full Week”

  1. Jim Says:

    I miss the photos of the wildlife.
    The wildlife in the classrooms will be more challenging than the wildlife in the desert. I once asked a retired teacher who he remembered from his teaching career. He replied that he remember only the ones who were very good and the ones who were very bad.

  2. Price Says:

    Lynne – best of luck with the kids. Probably not like the teaching jobs in Philly back in ’68 when Lyn was teaching at Ogontz and you were at Elkins Park(?).

  3. Claire Counts Says:

    Congratualtions Lynne!

    • notesfromthewest Says:

      Thanks. My cousin emailed: “Congrats AND CONDOLANCES on the new and most challenging job. You have your hands full! Get your refrigerator stocked with good wine and beer; you will need it.”

  4. Rhonda Fleming Says:

    Congrats, Lynne, and I will be here when you need to vent.

  5. Jim Says:

    Teaching means something different to different teachers. To the majority, it is just a another means of gaining money – “just another day in Paradise!” To a minority, it is an honorable mission in life – to produce good citizens from groups with a wide range of natural differences in intelligence and temperament. When I coached soccer, it was a fascinating study in bipedal primate social behavior – the transfomation of a handful of unrelated junveniles into a successful gang – a team akin to pack of wolves.

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