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Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Sep 15 2012

Almost a Month In…

So, after the first week of school, I started writing a blog post about TFA’s “Orientation”- which was basically a district-specific, more concrete set of sessions (and, as usual, I had something to say about it). I feel bad because I think it could’ve been a good post but… I didn’t get it out. And now it’s been a month and it just doesn’t seem worth writing about. It would just be a weird, small thing to comment on when… you know, actual school has started. Maybe it’ll come back around.

Anyway, this was the beginning of that half-written post, which I’m including just for… authenticities’ sake I guess. This is how I was feeling after the first week: “So, I realize that my first week of school is probably what I should be talking about. But, I can sum it up pretty quickly: It was alright. I am having the most difficult time remembering kids’ names because I am awful with that anyway and there are just too many of them! As for classroom management, my whole “be mean!” thing failed. I have accepted that I just can’t do that. I smile too much. But I am holding them to a “If you talk while I’m talking, I’ll just stop mid-sentence and wait for you” which has been pretty effective. I’ve already got my favorite period and the period that drives me insane. But so far no major blow-ups, no open rudeness, no huge breakthroughs, nothing special. I guess that’s how much first week was: Nothing special. Nothing to write home about.”

So now we’ve finished week…. 4? How completely awful would it be if I said that not too much has changed? Ah, that sounds bad. Obviously, lots has changed but there are still no huge inspirational/dramatic stories as of yet. Good news- I’ve got 99.9% of names down (before you think I truly am the worst teacher, you should know that the few I don’t are those kids that have just now been transferred into my class) and I know my kids a lot better. Am I still too nice? Yup. However, this does give me the added bonus of if a kid really starts acting up, I pull the “Really? You are going to do this with me? Me? The nicest teacher ever?” It’s been oddly effective. Plus the few times I have gotten mad and pulled the “sharp” voice, it’s worked. (In another month, when I post about how everything has fallen apart, feel free to point and laugh). But, overall, time is just flying by and things are moving right along.

Anyway, I’ve decided that one of the weirdest things about teaching is how much information you are given on your future mental state. So right now it’s like… I’m doing okay. I have good days and bad days. Or, to be more specific, good periods and bad periods. I mean… I don’t think I ever did the complete “I am going to change the whole world! Ra ra” thing because that’s not who I am but I am in the slightly “Okay. This is do-able” phase. But then… you are told so many times that October sucks. And so it’s this weird mental thing (at least to me) where you think something like this:

Me: So… October is going to suck. But if I know that I can mentally prepare. And then it won’t suck. Because I’ll be ready. Yeah, I’ll be so ready. October… pssssh. No big deal….. wait. I bet this is what all new teachers think. In fact, literally every teacher has probably thought that they will be the one to beat October… I’m falling into the same patterns… which means I will crash just like they did. Or maybe since I’ve realized THIS pattern, I’ll beat it. Unless everyone else has thought that too… (CONTINUED FOR FOREVER)

So I’ve just decided not to think about October too much. Because it ends up strange and meta and annoying, even to myself. Though the weirder one is that a 2nd year who I am very good friends with at my school said that sometime in December she just realized that she absolutely loved her job. And now wants to be a teacher instead of a lawyer. And other people who just come through October and love it by the end of the year. It just is weird to think about the future I guess. This post has become a rambling mess. Conclusion: I know too much about the future! But daily life feels unpredictable. It’s just a strange feelings.

MOVING ON. Actually, let’s wrap up this disaster of a post. I don’t even remember what I was trying to write about. I blame the fact that I am trying to write on a Friday night. I’m pretty tired. Coming up: More exciting posts about you know… actual teaching (I know… shocker), lunch time, staying sane and how I accidentally started some sort of unofficial after school club….


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