Facing La Frontera

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Mar 06 2012

Well-Deserved Spring Break


Just when I got home and thought I only had one more document to create, I was reminded of the need for a parent letter home outlining expectations for our Hunger Games outing. Joy. But I’m going to take a minute to decompress before beginning.

It was quite the day. Classes were just alright. I’m putting so much effort into my tutoring and remediation that classes are just kinda on the backburner, as sad as that is. But, one improvement is that the state test crunch didn’t really begin until this week, 10 days before the test this year, as opposed to last year, where it was all I was doing for a month. Hopefully, next year there will be no crunch.


I’m debating if I’ll be able to attend the movie with my students. The majority of students who stay behind will be due to behavior, but for the ones who haven’t mastered objectives, I probably need to stay behind and do extra practice with them. I mean, I’m going to the midnight showing, so I’ll see it, but I was really looking forward to experiencing the movie with my students. So we’ll see which emotion will win out next week.

My student, Ricardo, got after-school detention today because he didn’t complete my homework. They had an essay due today and one due tomorrow. Yesterday, during tutoring, he had started working on the wrong one. I told him he had to complete the other one though because we were going to work on it during class.

I guess he didn’t take me seriously because he showed up this morning with the wrong essay completed. I was so nervous about behavior regression, but he didn’t get angry…..just depressed of sorts.

Then, our team met with him to address his behaviors from a few weeks ago (it had gotten so bad he had been removed from a field trip). He got upset and started crying, but he said he wanted to continue his upward trend. Then, during tutoring today, he was on fire. He comes to my intervention class every day for the extra help. And afterwards, I told him he could go to soccer practice tomorrow instead of tutoring since he had been working so hard.

He told me, “No, I need to come to tutoring.”

Me, “Ok, but I just wanted you to be able to go to one practice this week, since I”ll need you again on Thursday.”

Him (with a little fake attitude) “Miss, what’s more important, soccer or this?”

Me: Alright then. (Inside: Ahhhhhhhhhh!!! Tear)

He also has figured out that if he stands right behind me, but a little to my left, he can startle me into saying random words (thankfully not expletives) when I turn around, and besides writing beautiful essays, that is his new fascination. Oh, children.

After tutoring ended, I had to count money for book orders. I had been taking book orders left and right, and I just knew I was going to come up short b/c a few students had given me money at different times. Well, my first calculation left me $50 short, and I was almost hyperventilating. Then, I realized some of the checks were for bigger amounts (parents combined book orders for different grades), and I ended up only $16 off, which I just wrote a ┬ácheck for. Book orders = major headache. If I miscounted something, then we’ll get two extra book to donate to a student who didn’t get it.

After that, I created a beautiful spring break project packet that is going to cause my students to BALK when they see tomorrow. But I’m not assigning any reading, so this is really nothing. There are 3 components: Analyzing a song of their choice, grammar review, and researching summer options.

I’m most excited about the summer options part.

So I really wanted to have my students applying for summer opportunities. But I haven’t had time to research it. And then the other day, one of my students asked for a recommendation letter for a summer camp at Texas Tech this summer. And I realized, DUH, I need to get them to do the research and see what they turn up. I’m not sure what to expect, but hopefully there will be some financially viable options. I already know of one at UTPA, which is a fully-paid for week of engineering camp.

Anyways, we’ll see what happens. 3 days until spring break!!!



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