Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Music: "Don't Turn Off the Lights"- Enrique Ingesias
Mood: Happy

Today I had my all-day training for new teachers to Wake County. It wasn't required, but suggested that I go. I am glad that I went! I got up early (6:15) and left the house by 7am so that I'd have more than enough time to get to Leesville Rd. High School in north Raleigh.

I was about five minutes into my commute when I hit MAJOR traffic on 55. I was a little nervous because I thought that the majority of the traffic would be going to US-1 (which is where I was going) but I was pleasantly surprised to see that they were all staying on 55!

Once I was on North US-1 I had smooth driving! No traffic problems at all. I arrived at Leesville Rd. High School at 7:45 and I had until 8:30 before the day began.

I went inside and found the registration table and was given directions to the room where the 4th and 5th grade teachers were being trained. When I got to the room I saw Julie Cuttler (the IRT from Oak Grove)! I was excited to see someone that I knew!

The training was excellent. They went through all the required curriculum for reading, writing, math, social studies and science. They even went through both grades (4th and 5th) so that each grade could see what the grade above/below would be teaching.

After the training for 4th/5th we were given a small break and told to go to the cafeteria for a session on classroom management. I met a girl in the 4th/5th session that was also from Michigan (Traverse City and then Livonia). She also teaches 4th grade and was teaching in Durham last year. Her name was Laura and she and I sat together at the classroom management session.

Even though I've been teaching for a while, I learned a lot from the presenter. She was very funny and explained things according to Harry Wong (educational genius). I loved hearing all the things that I do being reinforced!

After the session we were able to meet the Wake County Teacher of the Year (she's from Fuquay-Varina HS). She gave some words of advice and welcomed us to Wake County. Then we were released for lunch.

Laura and I went to Panera Bread and it was good. We got back at 1:00 for the next session. The second part of the day was rather boring. We were told about growth of the district (which was interesting for the first 30 minutes... but an hour and a half into graphs and demographic data I was checked out). Then we heard about the assessments given by grade and then we learned about staff/professional development. All good stuff.

The best part was the year-round lady. She basically talked about what to expect and how year-round works. I am so glad I picked Oak Grove because they've been doing year-round for 15 years and have it perfected. All the other year-round schools just switched and July 2nd will be their first run.

The superintendent was the last person to come and speak to us. He was very nice and very friendly. It was weird that for such a HUGE district he'd be there to talk to us, but he was very positive and welcoming and professional.

There were only seven people in my morning training... weird to think that there are only seven new hires for the entire county for 4th and 5th grade. Today's session was ONLY for year-round people. Which means that the rest must be traditional calendar. Anyway, the afternoon session had all grades represented and there were only about 45 people. Very small compared to the 2,500 new teachers that they said they hired for 2007-2008. Maybe they didn't know about the training.

I got home and Steve was already here. Not too long after I got home we had a visitor come to our door. It was the "welcome wagon" coming to greet us and welcome us to Holly Springs! It was very nice! She brought all kinds of info and had a lot of handouts for dentist offices, doctors, nail places (that are not in shopping plazas) and hair salons. We were excited and touched that someone actually came to our house to welcome us!!

I'm telling you... the south is wonderful! Everyone has been SO warm and friendly. We couldn't be happier (unless my parents were here)!!

Tomorrow I have another training-- for math. Should be fun. I hate math so much, so maybe this will help me to embrace it!!

Until next time...


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