Facing La Frontera

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Sep 17 2012

Merrrrrrrrrr Monday


I normally decorate my powerpoints with some type of adjective to supplement the date. This would be mine at this moment in time.


It started off rainy. and wet. Lucky for me, I enjoy the rain, to an extent.

Class was fine, but then many children skimped on their homework. Page after page had been left hopelessly annotated. After school detentions quickly piled up.

Oops, because then after school I was told that if you assigned more than 10, you were supposed to take some action. …..and I had single-handedly assigned 33 in my endeavor to not lower expectations about the annotations that had been explained time and time and time again until I was blue in the face last Thursday explaining one final time EXACTLY what that looked like because in my evaluations I had been told that students weren’t consistently annotating, so I KNOW this is something that I laid clear expectations for.


But it is the 6th week, so what else would you expect.

Anyways, I took 8 of the 33 students to my room and we worked there. My feeble attempt at reconciliation. Luckily for me, I can still play the Newbie card, and this was my Get out of Jail free pass. But I still felt yucky. I absolutely detest the feeling of breaking the rules or not meeting expectations. And unfortunately, for better or worse, I am not the type who can just “shrug off” things.

It didn’t help matters when a frustrated parent found me and talked to me about how it wasn’t fair that her son had been assigned the detention. I tried to go through how the expectations had been laid out (mutliple times), but he denied ever hearing it or me having told him (which I did), so it became his word v. mine. That was when I apologized and said I’d be sure to check in with him more in the future. Then listened to a few more minutes of griping because this had all been built up in her head so no way was I getting off that easily just because I apologized.

My thoughts churned my entire drive home, completely forgetting the reason I had been SOOOOO excited for the drive home today. Well, reason 1 was that I was going to go to the gym. That was cancelled when I stayed. Reason 2 was that I spent two long hours Saturday updating my computer software stuff so that I could download E-books & audiobooks from the library & I was thrilled because I had downloaded the first book from the Chronicles of Narnia…..in SPANISH!!! and I was going to use the commute home for listening to a story. I wanted Harry Potter, but they didn’t have it en espanol. This was a perfect second.

Anywho, that will be tomorrow’s treat.

So I got home and called my failures list, which is SOOOOO much shorter than previous years b/c I have to standardize my grading with my team teachers, and let’s just say that while sometimes my grading might’ve been hard in past years, I like to think that it pushed my students. But for the 1st 6 weeks, ok, sure, all but two passing, plus 4 on borderline 70/71. Nothing like some parent phone calls to cheer me up. So I at least finished the evening in better spirits.

Tuesday better be better. Maybe I will choose my battles more wisely. Maybe students will work harder. Maybe we’ll compromise.

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