Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Back to the grind

This week marks the one month back to school date. It's hard to believe that in mid-August school has been in session for a month already. Take me back to the long summer where school starts after labor day...

Changing schools has been more of a positive than I could have imagined. At the elementary school I was the only counselor to 550 K-6th graders, now I am on a team of 7 counselors to a school of 1250 7-8th graders...do the math...that's about 300 students per counselor -- trick question -- because 3 of the counselors work with our high-risk kids. It's nice being on a team. Someone to answer questions, provide resources, handle other responsibilities, etc.

The kids are 100% different, the elementary was about 75% white, 10% black, and 15% other. At Ilima, ethnicity is spread fairly equally between Hawaiian and Filipino, with white and black being a sparse minority. The racial tension is unlike anything I have experienced. During the first week of school, there was a brawl involving 10 kids of Hawaiian and Filipino descent. The interesting thing to note was that several of the kids were of a mixed ethnicity. (Meaning: They were fighting with the Hawaiians even though they are half-Hawaiian). Police have been to the school for violence related issues more than 10 times in 20 days of school.

One major plus is the average age of teachers and support staff at the school. I would say that half of the staff is in their first 7 years of professional employment. (VS. several teachers at the elementary school that had been teaching AT THAT SCHOOL since the year I was born).

The other bonus is that I am coaching the 7th grade girls and the 7th grade boys basketball teams. Right now I am working with the girls and the boys start in February. This is something that I've wanted to do for years, and now that I've gotten started, I really enjoy it.

1 comment:

kory said...

Good to read that the transition is going well. You sister was filling me on on some details a few weeks ago. Have a great day!