Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Back-to-School Night #24

Back-to-School Night is tonight at Rio Americano. Parents get a chance to see what their son's/daughter's teacher look like as they enjoy a trip down memory lane, sitting in a variety of high school classrooms once again.

Though my classroom started out quite Spartan and plain, it is now rather visually noisy. The wall of ego is in full bloom, and my landscape shots are all about.

Each year, it seems, I tweak the handout I give to parents. We have but 10 minutes together, so I try to load the handout with things they might want to know and spend the 10 minutes going over what their child needs to do to be successful in my class. Of course I could just say, "do homework and study for tests," but people want details.

Here's this year's handout, such as it is.

Though I might not recall in vivid detail all 23 BTSNs that I've experienced over the years, I do remember the first one well enough. I was fairly terrified because it was my first BTSN. It didn't help that I had yet to see twenty-two candles on my birthday cake. I was enduring a mild case of "homesickness." During my first month of teaching, my only credit card was taken (and not returned) by an ATM and the lights in my classroom burst into flames. I was still "finding my voice" as a teacher, and my Ann Arbor pace and intensity was proving too much for my California students.

Back-to-School Nigh '86 went better than I'd hoped. The parents seemed delighted with me. I even joined my colleagues at a local watering hole after the event. I didn't stay long, since I don't drink and it was a school night. But while I was inside, someone broke into my car and stole my "transportable" Macintosh 512Ke. They tried to steal the '76 Buick Century, itself, but I guess I didn't give them enough time. September, 1986 was not the best month of my life.

But I digress. I'm sure BTSN09 will go swimmingly. I always hope for a high turnout, and sometimes I get it. I may not get to a watering hole, but I will get a good night's sleep afterward.

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