2nd Day of School

Although it's the second day of school, it doesn't feel like it. My students meet with me in groups of 10 for 45 minutes once a week. None of my groups met on Monday, which was occupied with administrative duties and the other part of my student contact: advisory. I meet with each of my advisees (so far I have about 24, but may have up to 30) for a half hour each week. Monday and today were hectic with meeting and registering new students (looking at transcripts to see what credits they need, finding space for them in small group meetings, etc.), meeting with my advisees, and dealing with advisees who showed up late for their appointments.

Some students are 17 years old or older and don't have any high school credits yet, but want to get a high school diploma and don't seem daunted by starting from scratch.

Many students have jobs or want to get jobs, but also want to finish high school. One student is pursuing Independent Study so that he can get a job because his father recently had a heart attack and the son feels he needs to work to support the family. A few students have babies or are pregnant. The father of one of the babies is also in the program, so we have a whole family (the baby was there today too).

I think it doesn't quite feel like school yet because I don't have classes full of students to get to know or daily lesson plans to prepare. I did have two group meetings today. Forty-five minutes went by quickly. I didn't spend class time on get-to-know-you activities, as I will get to know them from the work they turn in (including personal reflective essays). Some of our students are interested in Independent Study because they have had social problems in school (not that they are socially inept in a nerdy way, but more likely involved in fighting and hurtful teenage intrigue), so I didn't want to make them get all touchy-feely with each other.

Once again I've realized that one of the benefits/pleasures of teaching is just getting to know so many interesting people. As a teacher, I get a little bit inside my students' lives for a little while, and I always feel privileged by that.
We've been camping and my dirty feet are the proof! Posted by Picasa
The boulders were really impressive. Unfortunately, it's hard to show their scale. See my head in the lower righthand corner? I'm standing up. Posted by Picasa
Good food, good fires, good hikes, good fun. Posted by Picasa
The meadow near the campground where we began our hike. Posted by Picasa
This mountain columbine, called shooting star, was still in bloom in shadier areas. Posted by Picasa
My brother explained that this attractive plant is a bit of a cheater. If I remember (and understood) correctly, it lives off a fungus that grows underground. This fungus has a symbiotic relationship with other plants, but this plant does not photosynthesize (having no leaves), so the poor fungus gets nuthin'.  Posted by Picasa
At some point we reached the elevation preferred by junipers like these. Posted by Picasa
A look backwards at the meadow from whence we came. Posted by Picasa
Destination: Burnside Lake. Posted by Picasa
What better place to play some Settlers of Catan? Posted by Picasa