Monthly Archives: May 2016

Half the sky rains

The other silent blue 


Jungle tree 

Roots, vines, and brambles

Copyright, Maria Castelli, 2016.


I’m back in a high school setting again in a big public school. It’s not without its aggravations, but the program I’ve stepped into is great – 6 11th grade English classes, 3 of them Honors.

So far I’ve taught The Pearl and gave a test, and am doing periodic notebook checks. 

Major adjustments include the challenges of doing the students grades and determining what work will get included when there was a substitute. It seems like some work was turned in by some students, but not others. I’m waiting for some supervisory feedback. Otherwise I’ll just go with what was already entered into the system. 

Also, I need to navigate how to order supplies. I almost bought chart paper at Staples out of pocket today but it was too expensive. The presentations I have in mind will need to be done on the white board instead.

I have two walls of white boards, and not currently set up with a smart board, which would make things easier for me. The students are tethered to their phones and respect is unfortunately not forthcoming from all the students. However, overall, they’re generally pleasant and talented. 

I’m there on a probationary basis, we’ll see how it goes. It’s about a half hour commute each way with early hours, and the AC in my room is usually cranked up to freezing, and the district controls it. You would think that the students would realize by now that I have no control over it, but many still complain. However, complaints abound when the AC is too low, even though I’m comfortable. Most of the students wear sweatshirts for this reason. I extracted two medium weight sweatshirts from my wardrobe to bring to work in a bag, to be worn over my regular clothes. After adjusting to the Florida heat, it’s personally kind of a drag to be freezing all day, plus I left most of my winter sweatshirts and sweaters in New York, although they’d be perfect in the industrial coldness. From 7:15 – 2:40 I freeze and teach.