For Andrew... who can't resist reading stories about those first few days of school when ... as a parent.. you are excited, terrified and some what relieved to have your kids back at school. As a staff member you have all those same feelings but for different reasons. Those first few days for me are mostly adrenaline filled, somewhat terrifying and with a hint of excitement and resentment!!!
Last years' challenges at the start of the year were mostly painful and embarrassing as we struggled through the implementation of a new computer system that allowed teachers to take more control of attendance, class lists, have access to the students demographics , etc... Sounds boring for most, but very exciting to teachers.. for sure. But the center of the nerve centre for this system was ~me~ and my coworker... with each of us holding the key to a different part of the system. With all the normal upheaval on the first few days.. we had the added stress of trying to make this system work with no experience and little training. We survived but it was painful and frustrating as mentioned before..
This year... was just as hectic, with 75 new four & five year olds starting school, plus 50 or so families new to our community and several new staff members. But the difference this year was a calmness through the staff, now far more experienced with our "new" system... a great partnership in the office, and the strongest of bonds in our administration. When you work as a team, you get so much more done... with far less effort and together we are an amazing team, with each one of us having weaknesses and strengths that compliment and offset the others.
How many people does it take to remove a splinter.... bahhaa....
Other September news....
Stephanie has a new job in Gwangju where she teaches students via video conferencing in small schools through out the city. She teachers many classes each day, in a variety of grade levels, as well as 10 minute "one on one" sessions with after-school groups each day. She has a new apartment, which she loves and coworkers who are from all corners of the world but all English speaking, dessert loving teachers. Stephanie is on video to the class, and they are on video to her.
She loves this new way of teaching for funny reasons like... she gets to bring her own lunch now... no more school cafeteria lunches of fish head stew, and kimchi.... she has her very own heater for her cubical... which... is a gift because they don't have heat in their schools.... ever! (Even when it is +5 outside ~ a Gwangju winter)
Sean is working very hard on his degree at UNB and is in his LAST semester and then will head to Korea to get back to Stephanie, their cat, his friends and his weird love of Korean food!!! His plans will be to teach once he gets back, but will have to wait for some paperwork stuff to be processed and hopefully it will all get done before the new school year begins in Gwangju, around April. I dropped in on his mom and dad's pottery display in September... at the Craft Festival.
Yet.. more September news...
Michelle is in her last 4 weeks of pregnancy and we spent early September in the baby's room getting things sorted out and arranged. She and Scott are well stocked, well read, well rested and well... ready for a baby boy to arrive.. sometime between Oct 11 (Full moon) and Oct 31 (Michelle's guess!). Our baby Jack is coming along very well, and Michelle is a real trooper with the whole pregnancy. She has enjoyed every minute of her extra large belly, the extreme mountain climbing that Jack seems to be involved in (inside of her) and her busy, fast-paced daycare job. Scott is working very hard on his PHD at UNB along with his Apple Rep stuff.... and with two cats, a nutty white dog and all his father to be chores like cooking and cleaning... he is in a non-stop whirlwind. Scott is hoping for a Thanksgiving baby but his money is on Nov 1st in our family bet on when Jack will finally arrive!
So, Andrew... September in and around a school is always hectic, and I know a part of you misses this time... but let me tell you... Some of us are envious of your retired lifestyle of self-inflicted busy as opposed to a September merry-go-round of unsolicited emergencies, problems, complaints, failures with a spattering of fun and funny moments!!!