Not only am I back with a brand-new blog post, I'm back with the kiddies in the classroom. Hooray!
It usually takes a few days before a class starts to come together in any sort of meaningful way. For the first little while, people don't really know each other too well — both between the students themselves, and between me and them — and classroom discussions can fall flat if you don't have one or two kids who are pretty naturally outgoing and gregarious. Fortunately, most classes have at least a few of these, so you probably aren't going to hear crickets in the background until the class naturally picks itself up and becomes more interesting.
This year, we have two more people in our department than we've ever had before. This is good, obviously; we don't want our numbers to dwindle, and more kids means more sections of classes, which means more classes and more teachers that have a job. The problem is we're running out of space in our office — we don't have space for any more teacher desks, and when everyone's in there it's pretty loud and raucous. But, compare this to a school (and there are a lot of them) where teachers scatter like cockroaches to their individual prep-rooms, hardly interact with each other during the day, don't share any resources, and hoard equipment in obscure hiding places... I'll take a communal-yet-slightly-chaotic department anytime.
One down, only 193 to go. I can practically taste the freedom already.