The Fifth First Week of School

Today's class: HOPAC AS Literature students preparing their impromptu dramatic interpretations of sections from Act 1 of Midsummer Night's Dream.
Today’s class: HOPAC AS Literature students preparing their impromptu dramatic interpretations of sections from Act 1 of Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Confused yet?

I think I might be.

Its a good thing this is my fifth year teaching. My schedule this year is 100% insane. Of course, I often enjoy what others deem insane, but this is crazy even for me.

At HOPAC, primary (elementary), middle, and senior (high) school is all on one campus, but running on three different schedules. I have the grand privilege of teaching all three sets of students, therefore working within all three schedules. As a result, I don’t ever get a proper “lunch break,” because I am inevitably teaching a class during all three scheduled lunch breaks. In fact, my longest break (with the exception of three one-hour blocks of prep, split into two days), is 15 minutes. Admittedly, when I saw the schedule less than 24 hours after landing back in Tanzania, I was a bit overwhelmed.

To fly in to the country less than two full days before school starts, pick up a brand-new subject, and have a crazy schedule like this would have been impossible my first year teaching. I thought it might still be impossible for year five. Apparently not.

I still can’t figure out what classes I’m teaching on what day or on what schedule.

But that’s ok.

Because I’m having fun.

Despite jet lag, having a new puppy (read: up every 2-3 hours during the night to let puppy outside), and missing all but one day of staff training/prep, this has been the best first week of school ever.

I feel like I am finally teaching how I want to be teaching–with energy, passion, and creativity!

Sure, there are things that I know I could improve on–like time management (ending class right on the “bell” is still hard (I am inevitably finished a few minutes early or rushing to cram stuff in), being prepared (like knowing what I’m teaching in a class more than 15 minutes before it starts), and encouraging better student discussions (though it is only week one, and we have had some pretty fantastic class conversations already). But it has been a great week.

With one day left in the fifth first week of school, I’m excited about the year to come!

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