Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Living the Life

Ok, so I really apologize to all the readers out there that have been wondering where I went. To be completely honest, I went out and got a job as a first year teacher at the Fine Arts Interdisciplinary Resource (FAIR) School Downtown in Minneapolis, MN. Getting a job, and I will blog more about this in the future, was an adventure that in all reality involved sending out a lot resumes and not receiving many calls back. However, with a little luck and a resume that apparently was impressive to my employer I landed a job. After an interview, and a plea to start earlier than the teachers, I started working in August at the FAIR School Downtown (formerly Interdistrict Downtown School) within the West Metro Education Program.

I was hired as a half time Language Arts teacher and a half time Media/Technology specialist. Life is busy as I teach one section of 9th grade Language Arts and another class of 10th grade Language Arts. Overall, this school has a very unique focus on the integration of students for overall success, technology, and the arts. Overall, the student population is very diverse, in every sense of the word. We accept students from eleven school districts in the west metro area of the Twin Cities. Technology is integrated into every class period in a variety of ways, and I look forward to blogging more about this in the future. There are Apple MacBooks for all staff members, SMART Airlines in the Kindergarten through fourth grade, SMART Boards in the 5th-12th grade classrooms, and a number of computer labs available for student use. In addition, the new opportunity for this year is the One to One Laptop Program that we will be rolling out for all of our 9th grade students in a little under two weeks. Also, this school is focused on integrating the arts into every class period - from the core classes to the specific classes. In addition, all students in the middle and high school take two arts classes per day. That can be any combination of gym/health, drawing/painting/clay, media arts (photography, movie making, and graphic design), theater, foreign language, band, or a dance class - all in the building. We are blessed to have a number of community partners and organizations that we work with on a regular basis. Finally, the school has just about 500 students and is K-12 in four floors in downtown Minneapolis.

With my unique position I get to blend the best of both of my passions - teaching and technology - into one day. I have the opportunity to work with a great staff and an amazing group of students. It has been interesting juggling both positions, and I somehow seem to be very busy each day, but overall I would not trade anything for the opportunity that I have right now.

I am really living the life. A first year teacher is busy, and I am that, a first year teacher does not have much of a life, and that is about right, but a first year teacher gets to finally do what they have been trained and are passionate about - teaching students - and I get do that every day. Yes, there are student loans, car payments, grading, planning, cheering for my favorite hockey team, spending time with my girlfriend, and various other responsibilities and joys of being an "adult," but this is the life. I look forward to teaching, meeting with students and staff, and really making a difference every day.

I am truly living the life.