This is Jenny. I have spent the first 2 days of school in my placement at the high school. The others are placed in the middle and elementary school. I am placed with 2 teachers named Jerry and Emily. They both have lots of experience teaching on the North Slope. This week, every school in the area has state testing going on. Most of these are the tests to meet AYP, but at the high school they also have the graduation qualifying exam. If they don't pass, they don't graduate. So, this week will be pretty relaxed for us and we will not see much "normal" operation until next week. This has left me with lots of time to wander the school and become familiar with my surroundings and to take time to really get to know the other staff in the building.
Yesterday regular classes met and reviewed for the math exam. The biggest shock for me was the class size. The class sizes I have are approximately 8, 11, 8, 18 and 10 students. These are just estimates I made. Often times, there are many students missing. They like to stay up with the sun here and then sleep in and miss school. Motivation is tough. But, it is also a small town and a small school of about 240. Small, I have never experienced. Hooray for new things!
Even though I am not teaching yet, somehow the days are still exhausting. The light has not interfered with my sleep at all!