The First Day of School, By the Numbers

I met 295 new people yesterday.  My six high school classes are all very large, but that’s certainly the norm these days.  That plus my two college classes puts me pretty close to 300.  Here’s the breakdown:

English II Honors (sophomores–three sections): 41, 44, and 37 students

American Literature Honors (juniors–two sections): 35 and 42 students

Leadership (grades 9-12, one section): 49 students

Not surprisingly, I’ve already asked about having that last class split into two sections, if possible.  Decisions like that get made in a few weeks after “count day,” when students moving in and out settle down enough that we can consider them more or less finished, and we can see what our real staffing needs for the year are, then hire or shuffle around existing personnel accordingly.  It’s pretty messy, but it’s really the only way–you can simply never tell exactly how many kids your school will have until they actually show up consistently for the first few weeks.  You’d be surprised just how often people move around, flake out, disappear, or have legitimate emergencies. 

At UNLV, my semester looks like this:

ENG 98 (remedial writing, mostly freshmen, two sections): 24 and 23

And that gives me a total of 295 new people I met today.  Now all I have to do is learn everybody’s name, guide them through multiple, engaging, challenging reading and writing projects over the next several months, and do this while I’m also learning the ropes of the country’s latest curriculum trend, Common Core, and the rigors of leading a Student Council.  Piece of cake!

I truly am excited, though.  I couldn’t sleep Sunday night, and got up at 3:30 AM to do some yoga and jog around the park a couple of times to burn off the anxiety.  It’s going to be an amazing year!



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