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Three members, one opening day

Anne Gallo, principal’s secretary

IS 61, Staten Island
New York Teacher
Anne Gallo
Maria Bastone
Maria Bastone

Looking like a brainiac. I’m very fortunate that I live across the park from school so it only takes me 10 minutes to get there. I arrived at about 7:10 and the first thing I do is turn my computers on. We just got new Macs, so I have an old Dell on my desk as well as a new Mac and a scanner — I look like a brainiac sitting in front of my computers. I’m still learning my Mac; the principal is trying to help me out with it. It was nice to come in and see everybody, to be back in my routine. We were all talking about who became a parent over the summer, who’s getting married. Including myself; I’m getting married this spring! I’ve been at IS 61 since 1994, and I really do love the teachers in my building. From the custodial staff to the secretaries to the kitchen staff, we feel like we’re a big family.

Going into high gear. As soon as I walk in, somebody needs something — a copy made or supplies — and the phones are already going in high gear. Parents were calling to ask what time the day starts and with questions about bus service. We still had children being registered. There were a lot of people — kids, parents, babies crying.

Taking care of everyone. There were no major issues; we were able to keep everybody moving. Even the couple of parents who were a little unhappy because they had to wait to get their children registered or their paperwork wasn’t exactly what we were looking for — we were still able to take care of them.

Missing the bus. I fielded a lot of phone calls. Parents call up wanting to get a message to their child or asking, “Did my child get to school on time?” Because we’re a middle school, this is the first year for them to be independent and take the bus by themselves so parents want to know if they got here. At the end of the school day, we had a couple of kids who missed the bus so they had to stay in the office while we called their parents.

Resting and recharging. I left school at about 3 and I went straight home because I was kind of pooped. The first few days really take the stuffing out of me, and I can go right to bed. In the next few weeks, I’ll be much more with it.