Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Sep 04 2009

At the end of Month 1…

We’re coming up to the end of my first month of teaching, and in the past week quite a lot has happened. I got my first full load of classes a week ago yesterday! I am thisclose to having all my students’ names memorized, too – a lot of them were in my Study Skills class, or are in multiple classes of mine so I see them a lot. Quite a few of them are already listing my class as one of their favorite classes, which I’m sure is just them trying to suck up to me, but still makes me smile.

I’ve had to start giving out consequences now that I’ve actually got kids in my class, and holy crap did they get comfortable with me quickly. But they all seem to be aware that if they are not doing what I told them I expect them to do, I will follow through with a consequence, even if they’re one of the “good kids” and aren’t used to getting called out on behavior. Little Miss K, I’m looking at you, sweetie. Yes, you’re adorable, but if you smack D, even if he was asking for it, it’s still breaking my Be Nice rule.

I’ve been making my third period class walk quiet in the hall on the way to lunch, because it echoes like a mofo when they talk and it annoys me when other classes do it, so I’m trying to be courteous to my fellow teachers. And they complain that no other class has to do it, but you know what? They’re starting to get there. They had to do it five times the first day I made them do it, and they’ve gotten it down to twice now. I’m having them walk single-file until they can do it consistently without talking, because single file lines remove temptation, and they hate it, but I think they all understand why I’m doing it. And their annoyance at having me add this requirement isn’t reflected at all in their behavior and participation in the classroom, which is pretty consistently fantastic.

However, yesterday I got sick and today I was miserable. I left during my planning period – thank goodness it’s last period! – to come home to go to bed. I don’t think I have swine flu – I’ve got a low-grade fever, enough above where I normally am to be a pain in the ass, but I’m not throwing up and I’m mostly sore from the lack of a box spring under my mattress, which was remedied about 20 minutes ago. So hopefully I’ll rest up tonight and it’ll be gone by tomorrow, and I can go to New Orleans for Southern Decadence with B tomorrow night without being miserable.

Thank the baby Jesus for this three day weekend, which I so desperately need. I’m gonna work all day Sunday and Monday and hopefully fully have my shit together going into next week and the Open House. I am so excited to meet my kids’ parents, it’s not even funny. I brought home all my parent contact sheets (which are still coming into me, wtf) and am gonna make phone calls this weekend to let them know how much I want to meet them on Thursday.

This job, y’all. I don’t even know.

My final big bit of good news: MY DONORS CHOOSE PROJECT HAS BEEN FULLY FUNDED!!!! That’s right, for those of you keeping track it took the internets less than two weeks to pony up $800 to buy my classroom a multimedia projector. A lot of this was due to my begging and guilting lots of people, which may not work quite as well the second time around, but HEY. I AM OK WITH THAT. There are plenty of other sources I can hit up. I feel like a teacher superhero, getting my kids what they need to learn. SO HAPPY.

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    eliza in south louisiana

    South Louisiana
    Middle School

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