Week one of Institute is almost over…and I cried on day 2. The shift from the relaxing and fun time getting to know my New Mexicorps members to this high stress, fast paced environment of Phoenix Institute is quite dramatic. This past week I have been waking up between 4:45 A.M. and 5:30 A.M., having sessions from about 7 A.M. to 4 P.M. and then eating, trying to have some kind of human interaction (and MOSTLY) lesson planning until between 11 and 12 P.M.
We get our students tomorrow and I am excited about that. I am a part of a four teacher collaborative team in a program called Summer Success at Desert Edge High School. This program is for incoming 9thgrade students to help set a foundation for them to enter high school with. We learned that on average half of these students will be entering with special needs which will be challenging. The first half of the four class sessions will be reading and writing. I will be teaching writing. I was pretty excited at first but once I saw the objectives and how difficult they were I begin to feel very inadequate. I will be teaching persuasive writing, both how to identify different elements of arguments and techniques used as well as to craft effective persuasive essays. Much of my frustration has resulted because a lot of the persuasive writing information isn’t something I’ve considered in a while, it’s simply meta knowledge for me now. Thinking about how to explain it to students has been pretty difficult! The last 2 hours is spent with two math teachers. I have a great group and am excited to work together with them to create an engaging classroom culture. We decided our classroom theme and focus will be “Own it!”… better stated… the vision for our classroom will be student’s owning their success in the classroom and beyond. We were joking around and looking for a song that uses this phrases and found a song by Black Eyed Peas, “Own It.” It’s going to be a fun yet really important aspect of our classroom.
…to depict my feelings toward Institute so far, I will use a Venn diagram.
I title this “Things TFA loves VERSUS Things Jennica loves.”
As you can see there are many mutually exclusive, even conflicting elements. I will say though that education and a love for students are something both TFA and I care about…. haha that thought is what’s going to keep me sustained throughout these next 4 weeks.