Facing La Frontera

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
May 15 2012

Never Say Never



Yes. It’s a cliche reference to a 7th grade superstar, but it’s appropriate.


With the winding down of the year comes incentives to convince the students not to go crazy, meetings to assess progress, and in my classroom, some of our biggest initiatives. Which is why it makes sense that I feel the need to procrastinate and blog instead of finishing work.

Some excitement from today:

  • Had a meeting where we decided to retain a student. Pretty big decision, but needed to happen due to his apathy and spelling. This student still spells phonetically, and when I’ve worked with him on basic words before, he is unable to retain the correct spelling. Last November, I was told testing him would require an extensive process. A different administrator told me today (after I showed her his typed work & we discussed how scary that even with a word processor his work is illegible) that she will make sure he is tested before the end of the school year.

Whoop! Because unless he gets this taken care of, he will never pass a state test

in high school that requires writing.


  • Students have been working on a project in class. The project itself is pretty awesome. The activity today was majorbomb.com…in the negative way. I had never tried group peer review before, but since this is a group project, we tried it today. Fail. Utter fail. If I tried it again, there would have to be some major organizational adjustments and accountability for all students. But at least I now know.
  • We have our book, which contains one submission from each student. Last year, 3 students and I spent at least 12 hours making & binding this thing. This year, in all of my 2nd year wisdom, I asked for the school credit card :)   Of course, Office Depot wanted to charge a shocking fortune and didn’t want to bind. However, after sweetly explaining that this is for my students and that my hope is for each to have a copy to cherish, we worked out a deal. I made the copies at my school tonight (and praise God, only one copy jam out of the entire 3 hours of copying, a true miracle) and tmrw I will take them to get bound. I just had to give them a week to do it. No problem for me, as this means I have 9 hours of my life back :)
  • Lastly, I am stinkin’ excited because I am giving the reading diagnostic tomorrow and Thursday. I will get to see how much my student’s reading levels have grown this year (well, since January). 24 students are actually taking the high school version b/c they already scored out of the middle school one. Rockstars! This information will inform our summer action plans. The goal is to set one for each child, and to contact the parents of those who score below grade level. We’ll see how it turns out.


13 days. Much to do. Thank goodness my kids are amazing!

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