I will start by saying that last year was a rough year. One of my classes drained all my energy, plus I was planning a wedding in five months. So the thought of starting the school year off again wasn't so pleasant sounding, espeically with a study hall this year. In fact, after freshman orientation, with a study hall student asking me if they could play games in study, I was even more terrified of what the year would bring.
So far, granted we're only four days in, it's been pretty good. I teach first through fifth hours, which I was worried about not having a break until sixth hour, but it works quite nicely. Then seventh hour I proctor a study hall in my room.
I was worried about study hall being a huge headache, but it really hasn't been as bad as I thought. The only headache I've had, was actually from an administrator, who admitted he had forgotten to include me in the email saying that there were going to be four new girls walking into study yesterday. I sent him an email ranting at him, but he appologized and forwarded me the email that he forgot to include me in on and said that he were me, he would have come down and ripped his skin off, and told me if it ever happened again, to do just that.
The Dean of Students has been stopping in just about everyday to peak in and see that the students are behaiving themselves. Today he caught one of the junior boys making one of the freshman girls switch seats with him. He's a hilarious, but very serious guy when he catchs kids doing stupid little small things like that. The kids know he means business and respect him, but he's also able to poke a little fun at them for doing something stupid.
The kids in study have actually not been playing games, but have been working for most of the hour. Even one student who I had in class last year, who never turned in any work for me, has been working most of the hour. The last ten to fifteen minutes they seem to finish everything, which just tells me that we, as teachers, aren't assigning enough homework if they're getting it all done before they even get home! :) Though, I know they say differently.
My smallest class is eight students, which is a lower level class, so it's nice that these students get a little extra help & attention. My largest class is twenty (except for study hall), which is supposedly the kids who are better at math. We're only four days in, so they have a little while yet to prove themselves. Most, I think will be just fine, though I'm worried about a couple.
One of my goals this year is to not lose so many Algebra II/ Trig kids. Generally its seniors, who don't need the math credit, but sometimes it's juniors who want to transfer down to Algebra II. Most of the kids I've already had in Algebra IA two years ago, so they know my teaching style and how I use technology (which is strange to our students, as there are very few of us that have it, much less use it), and don't consider me the new teacher who doesn't know anything.