An exciting new school year...
The color of the grass surrounding the path I take to building 3S –the School of Education – reminds me that Labor Day will be here soon, and that the Fall is coming. In fact, the semester has begun and I have taught my first class already.
As I walked to my classroom with arms full of books and syllabi, my Dean, passing by in the hallway, comments on how excited he is for me, how exciting it is to begin a semester in a new place, with new students, new courses, new colleagues. It is exciting indeed, and I look forward to wheeling the tray of glue jars, assorted papers, and random stuff into a classroom filled with students I have yet to meet.
Last week, during new faculty orientation, I got to meet my fellow newbies, as my Department Chair calls us, with a motherly smile. There are seven of us, in different departments, schools, and programs, all at CUNY’s College of Staten Island. People I would not necessarily have met if we hadn’t been put together in a room for two days, to be schooled on campus policies, benefits, union dues, proper conduct, retirement plans, library resources and, by the end of it all, pizza and sangria in one of the borough’s favorite places (I haven’t tried the other one yet, but my colleagues say this one is the best and I’ll take their word for it!).
In my new role as Assistant Professor at the City University of New York, I look forward to working with future teachers, with faculty members of very diverse research interests, with local institutions, and with the College’s early childhood center.
As the long weekend goes by, I miss Rita Gold Center dearly. I miss the art studio, the classrooms and hallways, and mostly the children and teachers I have lived my days with for years. I miss and the home-like feeling of teaching in an art education program, in a studio space lit up by large windows and an always-on-the-verge-of clogging sink, but the very sink where Georgia O’Keefe, I used to tell my students every semester, must have washed her brushes oh so often. I wonder if the Saturday Art classes at Penn State’s School of Visual Arts are at capacity already, and I hope the volunteers have their clearances in place, and that the student-teachers are going through materials and ideas for their classrooms with enthusiasm.
As the new week approaches, I am eager to bring out the materials again, to get settled in my office, to explore research possibilities with colleagues, to discover the partnerships the borough has to offer, and to start visiting the schools where I’ll be supervising student-teachers. I am excited about being a part of CSI and of CUNY, and ready to go.
Happy Labor Day!