Aug 29, 2009

A New School

My 7th/8th grade homeroom class at CAA. I have five seventh graders (one more is coming next week) and five 8th graders.

One of my seventh graders. He really wanted to wear my San Francisco Marathon medal, so of course I let him. My theme for the year is "Go the Distance."

The new school year is off and running and so far, it's pretty good. I feel at home among my new colleagues, in my new classroom, and with my new students.

How does it compare to Saipan? It doesn't, because they can't be compared. Saipan SDA School was a unique and special experience--nothing can ever replace it. Likewise, Columbus Adventist Academy will, I believe, also prove to be a unique and special experience, irreplacable in it's own right. It's amazing the places God takes you when you let Him lead. I would never have guessed that I'd find such a great place to work coming back from Saipan.

My students are good bunch. My 7/8 students are generally well-behaved--my challenge with them is to get them excited and motivated about learning. My 5/6 science and 5th grade Math students are very enthusiastic about learning and every class with them is an adventure. However they're also just generally excitable and so my big challenge with them is keeping that ebullience from turning into chaos.

I don't have any photos of my 5/6 classes yet, but here's a few more of my 7/8 homeroom class:

One of our 8th grade girls.

The seventh grade boys and one 8th grader in the middle. Eventually I will have nicknames for all of them (as I don't use the real names of minors on my blog), but I'm waiting till I get to know them better first.

The girl on the left is an 8th grader and a new student at CAA. Like me, she's still finding her way. The girl on the left is in the 7th grade.

Our school is predominantly African-American, but actually a good number of our students are simply African. In my class I have students from Ghana and Nigeria, just to name two countries.

Here's two of my seventh graders working on a science activity on the second day of school. It involved M&Ms which the kids loved! The boy on the left is my lone Asian student. He's from Vietnam.

My other two 7th grade Science students. The fifth member of the class (who you saw earlier with the medal) is in 8th grade math so he takes his science class with the 8th graders. For the first two periods of the day the class splits, so they can have Math seperately.

The staff are a great team to work with. All are professional eduacators with years of teaching experience. For the first time in my career, I am the young teacher on the staff.

Wayna Gray on the left, teaches 3rd and 4th grade, Robbie Lewis, middle, teaches 1st and 2nd grade next door to me, and Brenda Arthurs on the right is our super-supportive principal.

One thing that hasn't changed in my new school is that I am surrounded by women. We have one other male teacher, Mr. Lawrence Stuart, or "Stu", pictured here with the Mrs. Lewis' first and second graders. He teaches part-time, teaching math to grades 6-8 in the morning. He also pitches in myriad others ways and is our athletic director. I can tell he gives a lot to our school. He was pretty excited to have me on board and I appreciate having him as a resource and mentor.

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