Saturday, January 06, 2007

New School

Winter break is over and it is the beginning of a new semester. For most teachers, it will be business as usual for the next 138 days until summer but at Southaven High School, business is anything but usual. That's because over winter break, Southaven High School moved into a brand new building, and let me be the first to say how amazing the building is. According to my administrators, it is the best high school facility in the state of Mississippi. My new room is quite a bit smaller than my old room but I no longer have cockroaches crawling up and down my walls, I no longer have old shower paneling for my white board (which wasn't so white because I couldn't really erase it), I no longer have wild temperature changes from morning to afternoon. So all in all, I'm happy with my new room, and I think my students are as well.

The first week back, students were only present for three days, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. It didn't feel like we were beginning a new semester at all, in fact, it felt as if we were beginning a whole new year. Students had to wander the hall in an attempt to locate their classrooms. Locker assignments had to be doled out. And students now had to figure out how to open the combinations on their lockers since we didn't have combinations of the previous building's lockers. Oddly enough, many of my students told me this was their greatest challenge. I think every Memphis news station has been through the school now and I imagine that people are getting tired of hearing about Southaven's new school. Nevertheless it is a welcomed new building. Things seem to be more efficient. No longer do students have to go outside the building to change classes as they did in the old building. Students can get to any classroom in the building in less than 5 minutes easily (although they will still argue against that claim). And believe it or not, teachers actually get a full half-hour for lunch, although that doesn't mean I won't have students in my classroom for extra help.

So no, it is not business as usual at the new Southaven High School but we're getting there. I am just counting my blessing to be out of that old, over crowded school and into a new state of the art building. How many Mississippi teachers can say that? What a great Christmas present.


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