Facing La Frontera

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Sep 11 2011

3 week check-in


Things are going well.

But they still need to get better.

Behavior-wise, I’m feeling pretty secure in my classes. I got frustrated with 7th on Friday, but there was one student who single-handedly brought that class down. And this week, I’m just going to be more consistent with consequences for that whole class. And it will be better.

Curriculum-wise, I’m a little frustrated. My planning partner from last year was great about mapping out what we had to teach and making it work. More long-term stuff. And as hard as I’m trying to do that this year (which was a lot easier with the new curriculum), it’s still not working well. I feel like my lessons are rushed and that I’m spending the wrong amount of time on things.

I was excited, on our mastery quiz on Friday, while the kids struggled with vocab, that was just b/c they didn’t study, but most did well with compound sentences. Now to get them to use them in their writing this week!

I’m still calling lots and lots of parents. And so far all parent interactions except 2 have been positive. For failing quizzes, I think I’m going to implement what my friend at another school does, and if they fail, they’ll have to come in for either Thursday or Friday afterschool for mandatory make-up quiz.

I’m REALLY excited about extra-curriculars starting this week. I’m helping with theater :) which I think is going to be super fun, and then I’m helping an 8th teacher with an ELL program to assist our ELLs. I’m also going to get a real sense this week of how exhausting weeks to come will be. There’s a meeting EVERY DAY…except Friday….and knowing my school this year, they might add it, lol.

On Friday, I had one of those “this is why I’m a teacher” moments. My intervention class, lowest kids, has been a struggle. I need a seating chart, but we’ve just been indpeendently reading, which is obviously something they don’t like to do. Well, the first 10 minutes of class were crazy with kids talking, not reading, bla bla. I started attacking them one by one, checking if they liked their book or not and if they didn’t, finding a lower level one.

One student told me  (he’s on a 4th grade reading level) – miss, is my book 7th grade? I told him no, it was closer to 5th. He was getting upset, so I explained to him how we start at his level, and we slowly push ourselves up.

Anyways, after getting 5 kids new books, all of a sudden I looked around and EVERYONE was reading. All 16 of their beautiful faces were at least looking at a page on a book. Of course, one fell asleep 5 minutes later, but hey, it’s a start. Trying to make independent reading time sacred is difficult, but we will get there.

Whew, ok, now to plan tomorrow. Yea, I’m just as behind as I was last year. Maybe next year will be the year to get ahead, haha. But seriously, I need to because pre-teachign would be awesome in intervention…..but I’m never ahead enough to plan enough to do that. bleh.

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