Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Slow End to Summer

I end my summer by heading up Freshman Orientation for our incoming freshman. I don't get paid, but I do it for a couple of reasons. 

First, when we came up with the idea, I taught freshman. Those poor kids are only about 6 weeks out of middle school and are having to face up to the responsibility of attending a tough high school program on a college campus. We are a STEM school, so the rigor is demanding. Students need to be comfortable with the technology used to learn in class. The idea of orientation in small groups (around 15 at a time) was to give them time to get used to us as teachers and to the computers. I also hope that they meet at least one person who will be a friendly face on the first day of school. Since we meet before the high school or the college starts, they will pretty much have the campus for themselves for an entire day. Hopefully, this will make those first few hours in August just a bit less overwhelming.

Second, I get trade time. So, when the snows start to fly in the winter and we are expected to risk our lives to come in even though school is closed, I already have some hours banked away. Ok, so this is the selfish part, but those hours have come in really handy more than once. 

The last reason I do summer orientation is that it allows me a gradual return to work. I can go ahead and take some things back to my classroom, get a heads up on my schedule, and most importantly, start getting up a little earlier. (Not that anything prepares me for that first 5:15 AM wake up in August!)