Facing La Frontera

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Oct 10 2012

appreciate, excitement, sneaky, weirdos

10/10/12

 

Why I appreciate where I work:

I came to work on Monday with a heaviness on my heart. It was one of those days where I couldn’t get thoughts out of my head. Unfortunately, I tend to stress and overthink things sometimes (don’t we all), and this was one of those days when everything I compartmentalize was flooding into every conscious moment and literally drowning me.

I knew I needed to talk, and I emailed someone at work I was pretty sure I could trust and who has some extra years that I figured might give them an ability to give me some advice. I also thought this person would tell me what I needed to hear and not what might make me feel better. I figured maybe we could meet up this weekend or something. That person emailed me back an hour later, suggesting meeting the next morning before work.

We did, and after 45 minutes of alternately spilling my guts and listening to some wisdom, I left feeling more peaceful than I have in a long while. I can’t fully express my appreciation. These are the people I work with, and I am so lucky to have them to lean on and learn from.

 

Why I am really excited:

NJHS applications were due today. We had 20 applicants (majority 7th graders), 95% of whom are top 25% of class, and I can’t wait to get to know them better. One student, however, is the project (b/c there always has to be one). He was retained in 6th, continues to fail math, but at the end of the day is an extremely smart kid. For some reason we really hit it off, and he got really interested in the idea of NJHS. The first time I mentioned it to him, he was like, “Naw, that’s not the kind of thing for me.” Then it was, “Naw, I’d never get picked for something like that.” Then it was, “Well, what would I have to do?” Then today, when applications were due, it was “Oh no, I got my letter of rec, but I forgot the essay. Can I come in during lunch and do it?”

I’m sure you can guess what my answer was :)

My hope is that we’re going to put him on probation, that hanging out with these top students will rub off on him, that he will pick up his math grade, and that by the time high school rolls around, he will be in the top 10% of his class. nbd.

 

Why 7th graders are sneaky:

We kept a lot of students after school Tuesday for not finishing homework and decided to go out to pickup and talk to parents when they picked them up. It turns out that some of our favorite hot messes have been telling their parents that they’re staying for tutorials. That was a fun conversation explaining the real reason for staying afterschool. Hopefully we’ll see higher completion rates for homework. :)

Why 7th graders are weirdos:

Today, afternoon class was rough. Unfocused students, tired teacher. During one part, we stood up to do our chant. One of my students literally stood up, turned around, and ran into the wall twice. on purpose. not for attention. only a few students noticed. not loudly. just because. and was poised to do it again before the other teacher was like – dude, stop.

 

oh, life.

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    you can always change the world around you

    Region
    Rio Grande Valley
    Grade
    Middle School
    Subject
    English

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