Jennica in New Mexico.

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jun 17 2012

I will survive.

Week one of teaching is complete.

I almost missed the bus on the first teaching day.  I usually get up around 4:40 to catch the bus at 5:45…I slept through my alarm and didn’t wake up until 5:30, yet somehow I made it.

I was observed my first day and got mostly positive feedback.  I really am enjoying teaching.  High school students are not as scary as I was anticipating.  In fact, I’m a lot scarier than I thought I would be…I had to watch a recording of two of my lessons and I definitely have a “teacher voice.”…No idea where that came from! I’ve also had to give out a few discipline checks and sass students who didn’t do their homework.   Despite this, they really are good kids, and so funny.  Each week the class is given 10 minutes of free time for Friday and if they are being good we add time…if they aren’t listening, we take away time.  So for this whole class reward we took suggestions for how they would like to spend their free time on Fridays—some of the suggestions included having us 4 teachers do a rap battle or dance off…great. Haha. I can’t believe how much I care about them after only one week.

The theme/vision of our class is the students being self-advocates for their education, setting goals and then working hard to reach them.  We talk a lot about goals and for 14 year olds, they have some really ambitious goals…much more ambitious than I remember being at 14.  One girl wants to study marine biology, another boy wants to be a professional skateboarder, and another wants to own the next Apple company.  My favorite though is…One girl’s summer goal to keep her temper under control.  We haven’t had any incidents so she’s definitely working toward that goal.

This week was been a lot of work but it has definitely been better than the first week.  Now that I know my students and all their goals and needs, I WANT to work hard for them.  I’m learning that teaching is really hard but also really fulfilling.  Everyday is so different and there are always ways to improve.  It’s making me excited to teach my own class in the fall!

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Learning and teaching…mostly learning.


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