I’m writing this from the first day of Institute (which I feel deserves a separate post). So clearly, Induction came and went with a fury, and in just 4 short days so much was experienced.
First of all, DORMS ARE COLD. COLD COLD COLD. The first night was freezing, because my roommate and I could not find out how to change the AC. Also, we couldn’t locate the outlets in the room (which we later found days into Induction).
The first day was very “meet and greet” style, with everyone vaguely chatting about themselves, and picking up all of the necessary items. I got a sweet Jacksonville Jaguars bag. I love swag. After settling in, we went to an opening dinner at The Bridge in Downtown Jacksonville. This is a place where students go for after school type programs. Lots of people spoke about Jacksonville as a city, and the many things it can offer you. It was pretty interesting and I have ambitious goals of getting involved in the community, if I have any free time.
The next couple days included many sessions on the achievement gap, how to close it, and what the possibility for us as teachers are. Some things were incredibly inspirational, and really fired me up about helping the schools. Duval is the LOWEST ranked county in the state of Florida based on high school graduation rates. Something that really surprised me, was that I graduated in Brevard county, the number one county based on graduation rates. We heard lots of scary statistics, but I feel like it won’t really hit me until I see how far my students are behind, or the first time one of them cusses me out. (Probably both of these will occur on the first day of school.)
On another note, to all the ladies out there… THERE IS NO PAIN LIKE WEARING UNCOMFORTABLE SHOES. If you have not worn in your shoes, they will tear your feet apart, and bandaids don’t really solve the problem, just help ease the pain as you limp around on your poor blistered feet.
Induction was a time of no sleep. Over the course of the four days I was there, five hours was the MAX sleep I got. The minimum? That was the 3 hours I got when I had to wake up at 3:30am for my 4am shuttle to the JAX airport for my flight to Chicago. Although you are probably thinking this sounds horrible, it was worth it. Those days I was able to go out and bond with my fellow CM’s over some relaxing places and a few beers. Also, the last night we all went to an arena football game (something that can’t even be described, only experienced, but if I had to compare it, it is like professional wrestling shows on a tiny football field). It has been great getting to know people, and the lack of sleep was worth it for Induction. I can tell already this will not be happening with Institute.
So it is safe to say, times are good. I will eventually bust our my camera in both JAX and the Windy City to take some snapshots of what is going on.