Classes haven’t even started yet, but I am completely impressed with my new school. I’m fairly certain the other new teachers would all agree with me. The past six days at school, we’ve attended meetings, gone to professional development workshops, and begun to get situated in our classrooms.
I think so far, one of the things that makes this place so special is the atmosphere. The message from administrators is very clear: We respect you and we value you. We expect that you are an excellent teacher, and we have confidence that you will do high quality work for us. In exchange, we will continue treating you with respect.
This confidence and respect, and the feeling we’re appreciated, is what makes things so fantastic right here. I think a lot of people probably take this atmosphere for granted, but for me, it’s the first time I’ve really experienced it in a job. It’s really refreshing. Like breathing clean air after being in a smoggy city a long while. You probably didn’t even realize the air was dirty until you took a deep breath of fresh, crisp, clean air again.
Both inside and out of school, we’ve really been pampered so far. I mentioned already that our housing is fantastic, and that the campus is beautiful, but in addition to that, the school also makes sure we’re well fed. They took us out for a four course meal in Antigua last Saturday, and on Monday we were treated to pizza at a place called Margherita. There were no limits in what or how much we were allowed to order. I think we all took home leftovers. Lunch is provided for us every day at school, too. Even the days that said on our schedule we would have “lunch on our own,” were not; our principals ordered food for us and we had a picnic on the grounds. Middle School rocks!
The students will start on Wednesday. Yesterday was a holiday and a group of us hiked a volcano not far from here. Today all of the returning teachers came back, and after a big breakfast provided by the school, the real work and teaming began and will continue through the beginning of next week, I imagine. I can’t wait to have kiddos in my classroom. All of the “administrivia” (as my principal calls it) that we’ve been going through is useful and important and a lot to try and remember and wrap my brain around…but teaching a class is something I know how to do. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a great year.