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Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jan 31 2011

Hello February

Month-by-Month drive by of my first year teaching so far, starting with Induction back in June.

June: (induction): This is exciting. I am pumped. One thing is making me nervous  (how am I going to survive institute)  One thing is completely freaking me out (MATH TEACHER! Really, new school?)

June/July (beginning to middle of institute): This isn’t so bad. Lots of amazing people.¬† Lots of work. Wow, I get tons of butterflies before I teach every day. Will this still happen in November? Probably not. Damn, Arizona is hot in summer.

July (end of institute) That really wasn’t as bad as they said it was going to be. Wait. I still don’t know how to teach math. Oh goodness. (starts to panic)

July (start of my school’s institute) No curriculum? Write it myself? (writes curriculum) I’ll pretend to be cool and collected, but Principal and fellow teachers, you have no idea the storm of anxiety stirring in this new teacher.

August (first month of school) I’m making tons of mistakes, but overall I’ve got the hang of this. My students respectful. Why am I still so anxious/stressed every morning when I get to school? I’m lucky to have this opportunity.

September (second month of school) Wow, I’m still making tons of mistakes. I’ve still got butterflies. I didn’t know how exhausting giving so much could be. At least my students are respectful. It sounds like my fellow CMs have it worse than I do. Why do I feel guilty for working ONLY 12 hours a day on average? (“relentless pursuit” indoctrination may have something to do with that) (completely re-writes curriculum)

October (third month) Welcome, black October. You won’t be black for me. This is the month it will all come together and I’ll get the hang of it. (fast forward one week). I still don’t have the hang of it. What’s the deal with the butterflies, still? Is it because some of my classes are starting to act up more than before? (two new students transfer into class last week of October)

November (fourth month) Welcome, November. October wasn’t black, but it sure wasn’t easy. (completely re-writes curriculum) Good news: I’ve weathered the worst of the storm! It’s time to get down to business. (new students completely change the culture of class: new teacher doesn’t know what to do) Please come faster, Thanksgiving break. I’m struggling more than ever. Those innocent butterflies have been replaced by dread. Don’t be so hard on yourself…

December (fifth month) Help. (reaches out to PD, reaches out to veteran teachers, reaches out to family and friends) Things still aren’t improving. This sucks.

Christmas Break: =) (completely re-writes curriculum) (very nervous about returning to school)

January: (one of the new students is expelled) Today’s lesson went well. (adjusts curriculum) Wait…are those butterflies? (goes to a student’s hockey game, will never forget the smile that lit up that kid’s face)

February begins. I’m curious as to what new emotions, revelations, and experiences you will bring.

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    Teaching tales, Rocky Mountain trails

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