Documenting my experience as a teacher with FLVS!

Wow… what a week!  I don’t even know where to begin! … So… perhaps at the beginning?


I drove down to Orlando through a tropical storm to the hotel.  Why do people NOT know how to drive in the rain?  REALLY?   Oh well, the hotel was nice!  I was so anxious Sunday night that I really didn’t sleep well.  So, I was up at 4am in the hotel fitness room walking on the treadmill.  The hotel staff was surprised when I asked them to unlock the gate to the pool to let me pass through to the room.  I guess they thought that only a lunatic would be up wanting to work out at 4am. Oh well… I am not quite sure what I did to my knee that morning, but it still hurts…..smh….

Monday – NEO (New Employee Orientation) Day 1 …

So after the workout I took my time getting ready for the day.  I REALLY took my time, to the point where I ended up almost running late!  My shoes somehow felt too big so I had to run to Walgreens to get heel pads to put in them and cushiony things for the toes because I haven’t worn anything but flip-flops all summer except when working out and wearing sneakers!  My poor feet were dying just walking from the room to the car!  Also made a stop at Starbucks for caffeine!

I arrived at the FLVS – VLC (Virtual Learning Center) and felt as though I was late!  It seemed like everyone was there before me!  If you know me, you know how uncomfortable this makes me!  I arrived at work nearly an hour early every day for the past 3 years.  Partly out of necessity to beat the ridiculous traffic in the Jacksonville area and partly because I needed that hour to settle into my day in order to function properly.  So, showing up to the training 5 minutes before the start time was extremely nerve-wracking to me!  The first person I met was Tiffany who was seated next to me and also a math teacher.  We discovered during our introductions to each other that we live 20ish minutes from each other!  She in Keystone Heights, me Middleburg!  Go figure!  The training was… well training!  Teachers you know what I mean!  We spent a good portion of the morning logging into what felt like fifty-billion different systems and changing our passwords to our shiny new complex, yet easy to remember, secure passwords!  Do people still use the name of their dogs and cats as passwords?  I was amazed that we had to be taught how to create complex, secure, passwords, but then I’m a computer, math nerd…. so I may be  am ahead of the curve on that one!  For lunch we went to Crispers… a group of us just got in Kim’s SUV and went to lunch!  We found others once we got there and sat down to eat.  We became fast friends, each sharing the story of how we ended up in this place together.  We were definitely in this together!  I was a total spaz at lunch!  I overfilled my drink a couple of times and got soda all over the floor.  They were laughing AT me not WITH me about that one!  Total S.P.A.Z!!!!

The big disappointment of the day was not being able to take our new laptops with us back to the hotel that night.  We were informed that we would take them when we left on Wednesday.  We got over that disappointment at dinner…

Dinner time…  We were starving at the end of this first day of training!  We went back to the hotel, changed out of the professional attire that we are required to wear at the VLC, and met in the lobby … lots of us were in the lobby deciding what to do for dinner… our core group was formed at this dinner.  Kim, Nicole, Tiffany, Angel and I, we walked over to the Ale House (it’s in the same parking lot as the hotel) for dinner.  I know our waitress was less than thrilled with us at first, but she totally warmed up to our lovely personalities!  The guy sitting at the next table who was trying to work on his laptop was very distracted by us.  The best part of the dinner was when we decided we needed to exchange contact information.  All of us with the exception of Angel have an iPhone, so we decided to use the “BUMP” app so we wouldn’t have to all type in the info… should make it easier right?  LMAO… it was absolutely hysterical… the guy next to us was extremely entertained by us bashing our very expensive phones together and not really understanding how the app works.  After about 30 minutes of iPhone bumping we figured it out and had our contacts updated!  Back at the hotel, I talked on the phone with Emily, my friend who has worked for FLVS for a year now and missed the first hour and a half of the Bachelorette finale show while talking!  The conversation WAS really that important!

Tuesday – NEO Day 2 …

We were told that day 2 would make our heads spin and it was very intense.  I think that the training part is very difficult because you are working in a training environment on the computer and although it is similar to what you will do in reality it is also very dissimilar.  It’s difficult to stay focused on fake students and fake contact logging for me, but I did it.  Honestly the best parts of the week were the lunches and dinners!  So, Tuesday’s lunch we could NOT decide where to go.  This was the day that from the “going straight lane” Kim turned left AFTER the left turning light turned RED.  Which would not have been a huge deal except that she announced what she was going to do prior to doing it, and Nicole waited until she was going through the intersection to point out that there were, not ONE but TWO police officers at the red light on Kirkman to our right.  Wow!!!  We ended up at Jimmy John’s and had subs and then I got some caffeine at Starbucks next door while some of the other ladies got smoothies at Planet Smoothie which was on the other side of JJs.  Great location!  Something for everyone!

Dinner time… It was not just dinner, it was an adventure and a lesson in EXTREME patience!  We decided to go to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner.  We had a group of 10 people.  While we were waiting for a few to finish getting ready the first car of 5 people left to go secure a table for us.  They had to have left a good 30 minutes prior to our departure, but when we arrived at the restaurant, they were walking in just in front of us.  Apparently they got lost!  So much for that idea!  The wait was an hour and 45 minutes so we had to punt and go with plan B.  Of course there was no plan B, so we had to come up with one!  Five of the group decided on Brio because it was right there, the other 5 of us decided on BJs Restaurant across the street.  So, Kim, Tiffany, Christina, Angel and I had the worst ever dinner experience… we really were beginning to think that we were on Candid Camera or some other reality show because not one of us thought in our wildest dreams that so much could go wrong with one dinner.  To make a VERY long story short, my pizza came out wrong twice(wrong crust the first time, with tomatoes the second time), Kim’s pizza was wrong but she resolved it by getting a side of BBQ sauce since that was missing from her BBQ chicken pizza entirely, Christina’s pizza was cold, Angel’s pizza, a cheese pizza, came out with chicken and onions on it … really?…. and Tiffany’s soup and salad came out with Kim’s appetizer and was cold by the time we all got our food.  So, the manager, Terrell told us that he would buy us dessert.  We were pretty okay with that because BJs has “Pizzookies” and we were drooling over them when we looked at the menus.  So we ordered our pizzookies and waited… and waited… and waited… 30 minutes later Kim’s sampler comes out… no spoon, ice cream all melted, one of the items completely wrong AND a complimentary JET BLACK HAIR on top of her melted ice cream, then came the others.. mine was cold, Tiffany’s was perfect, Christina’s was completely melted and Angel’s brownie was not cooked in the middle.  Terrell returned to us so that we could thank him for the lovely dessert… NO.. really!   Terrell was speechless… and told us that some people were getting fired… so we asked him for the check so we could just go because we’d been there for 2 1/2 hours at this point and really just wanted to get out of there.  So we look out the window and it is monsooning outside!  Yay!!!  Let’s get wet!!!  *sigh*   Our fabulous waiter *gag*, Roger, returns to us 10 minutes later and informs us that Terrell took care of the entire check.  So now we have to scrounge for some cash to leave Roger some kind of tip that he totally didn’t deserve because although we don’t know for sure if it was Roger putting the order in wrong or the kitchen cooking it wrong… we could not just stiff the poor guy who was probably about to get fired from a job he had been working for an entire 3 days!  WHAT A NIGHT!!!

Wednesday – NEO Day 3 …

The final day of in person training!  This day was for me more about the anticipation of going home to work.  We had mentors come in and they were good!  Watching them role-play various call types was hysterical!  The welcome call, the no work call, the academic integrity call… all funny!  Heather played the student, and was completely believable!  We could tell that she was definitely drawing from real life experience when playing those students!  This was the most laid back of the three days, the anticipation was overwhelming at this point because I didn’t feel like I had possibly learned anywhere near what I needed to know to go home later that day and do my job.  I just felt as though I knew pieces but not entirely what to do.  Now that I am reflecting on it I think that the discomfort was that I had to know what to do and when to do it.  When you work in a building (brick & mortar) the schedule is provided to you.  Everything is timed to the minute.  The bell schedule is your schedule.  You will be at lunch from 11:17 – 11:47, not a minute more or less, not a minute sooner or later.  Very defined.  You teach during these times, you plan during this time every other day… very regimented.  I did not have that regimented feeling yet, although everyone kept telling us that life would be better once we figured out what type of schedule works for us.  I guess as teachers we need that schedule… but I think now that I’m looking at it, the beauty of what I am doing now, is that it is MY schedule, and I can adjust it if I need it to be different.  Lunch was Chipotle and I made Kim take the scenic route because I wanted to see where it went.. got picked on for that one.. but it’s all good!  😀  Lunch was awesome… our last lunch together! 😦

No dinner on day 3 unless you wouldn’t get home until 8pm… not a chance of that for me with leaving around 4pm.  The drive home was much better than the drive there.  Sunshine!!!

It was good to be home with my family!  I will continue the Virtual Training in another post… need to get up and move around right now!  Stay tuned because Friday I made my first Welcome Calls and they were pure AWESOMENESS!!!!

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