Vito Prosciutto: Teaching community college math on the road to a PhD.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

First day 

It's been a long exhausting day, and frighteningly enough, it's not yet over.

6.01 The alarm goes off, and I resist the temptation to hit snooze. Instead, I climb out of bed. My closet is in the guest bedroom, and I'm sufficiently sleep-deprived that opening the door is a challenge. I manage to get through, complete my daily lavations, dress myself and get out the door. I don't realize that my second period handouts are sitting in the dining room. I do realize that lunch was not made.

6.32 I'm on the road. NPR is all back-to-school themed for the most part. I stop off and pick up a breakfast burrito and orange juice to eat in the car since lunch is an improbability.

7.08 No matter what time I leave it's a 36 minute drive to work. I've got some photocopying to do, but first, I want to drop stuff off in my room. I get to the room and notice that the room is arranged in rows. Surprise! There's a note on my desk from Ms C, my classroommate: She keeps the students in rows the first week so she can get a good seating chart (huh?) OK, that's nice, but I have a seating chart. I'll live. But my getting the kids used to their assigned seats plan is spoiled for the week. I'm hoping that she follows through and we have groups next week.

8.00 After waiting in line at the copier, I get my copies for the day made. That's a relief. I wait outside the department chair's room and let him know about the schedule being incorrect. He tells me that I should be switching 6th period classes with Ms N. I run to her room before first period starts and find out that she doesn't have the class that I'm supposed to get. I run back and let the chair know and he lets me know that he'll get it to me later. I finally get my class list 4th period, just before lunch.

2nd period comes along, but not before I realize that I left the handouts at home. I end up taking my blank 6th hour handouts and writing names on those, trying to get them all made before the students arrive. I succeed but at the price that I have no blanks for 6th hour. And no printer.

The lesson goes pretty well. I went over Cornell notes, SQ4R and classroom rules and expectations. My one contribution to pedagogical technique: I require students to use two notebooks for my class. One is exclusively for classroom/reading notes, one is exclusively for homework. I point out that by doing this, they will be able to consult their notes when they're working on homework. It also means that while they're working on a warm-up problem, they can have their homework notebook open to the correct page.

Third hour I refine the lesson and abandon my suit coat. It's much too hot today for this (yahoo weather claims the high was 95o, but I don't really believe that.

At lunch, I caught Ms J and gave her the journalism stuff I had and offered any assistance. She said she didn't think she needed any help, so I'm not going to press the issue. I think that I will put together a journalism portfolio and start networking in November to see if I can't land a journalism position somewhere else next year.

My highlight for the day was a student stopping me after school to check on details for the reading assignment tonight. It's going to be a good year.

Mr Prosciutto's self-grading for day 1:

OrganizationCThe materials left behind were symptomatic of larger organization issues. This must get fixed.
EnergyBGood, but impaired by organizational issues
LearningBGood, but impaired by organizational issues

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