It takes a while to generate class discussion. It takes even longer to get students into the routine they manage to forget over three months of freedom. But eventually, everyone finds his/her footing and the routine is established.
Except if my first week is any indication of the remainder of the school year? We are in for no sense of routine whatsoever.
First of all, our air conditioning has been on the fritz. I know there are people who live without it, but hometown high is shut up like Fort Knox so air circulation without air conditioning is next to impossible. And actually? I'm one of the lucky ones, because I have a window in my classroom. The teachers with interior classrooms have no hope of any sort of air circulation. So the equation?
Tired, grouchy students with no sense of a schedule + no air = miserable classes.
I'd like to tell you that problem last one day and then became a distant memory. Unfortunately, I sweated through my underwear more days than I care to admit to you. I guess it wouldn't be shocking if I worked construction, but teaching English isn't exactly a highly physical activity.
In addition to the "no-air-nightmare," our internet has been beyond unreliable. Before you get all high and mighty and Jesus juke me with statements like, "Our Lord and Saviour didn't need the internet to draw thousands to His side," please remember that I am constantly encouraged to use the newest technology in my classroom as often as possible. And Prezi? IS AN ONLINE PROGRAM.
Not only that, but our attendance/discipline/gradebook program requires? You guessed it. THE INTERNET.
All week, I think it worked a sum total of 5 hours. Five minutes here. Fifteen minutes there. I finally gave up and started taking attendance on my phone, and at one point, I had a student turn his phone into a mobile hot spot so we could just finish the lecture I had prepared for class.
And just when we thought most of our problems had been rectified, there was Friday Night Football.
Before we even hit the half, hometown high was winning 29-0 and the visiting team had completed more passes to us than to their own teammates. I seriously started questioning their reasoning ability because they were trying to play a passing game when not one guy on their team could catch a football.
About two minutes before the half, the scoreboard, half the lights and everything in our concession stand (including the announcers booth) lost power. We sat for a while as the officials tried to determine their next course of action. Eventually, they sent both teams on break for the half and the band took the field. About that time, we lost any and all remaining lights.
No power. Zip. Nada. Zilch.
We couldn't even see the poor band on the field.
So what did they do? They played anyway. And people sitting along the fence turned their headlights on so the audience could watch the band.
I'm not sure what they decided to do about the game because we left, but I'm pretty concerned that this week is just a precursor for the weeks to come. So I'm off to plan lessons and then plan backup lessons in case something else in my class turns out to be temporary.
But the real lesson here is educators should be nothing if not flexible. Right?