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Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Aug 03 2011


Today was the first day at my new placement school with the whole staff. I had nightmares of condescending veteran teachers, overbearing grade chairs, and a dispassionate principal. I could’ve have been more wrong. The staff at my school seems to be fun-loving, supportive, and helpful. My grade chair is amazing and promised that she will help me navigate the next few weeks. My principal seems to really care about student achievement and her employees’ well- being. I feel a new sense of joy knowing that these are the people I will grow to rely on, confide in, and support.

In my institute, they called activities that bring happiness to kids while they learn “the J-factor.” I certainly had a lot of J in my day today!

My classroom is also coming together better than I expected. I have my behavior management chart up, my lunch and attendance poster hung, sight word tree posted, and career center almost done. While I’m still waiting on student computers, some textbooks and my district info so I can access curriculum, I feel upbeat knowing that most of what I need for the first week is in my hands.

Another reason I’m so chipper is that I met a third grader today. He is the son of another teacher, and he seemed to be light-hearted, respectful, and eager to start school. It reminded me that despite all the warnings I’ve been given, these are children after all. Given the right set of circumstances and expectations they can flourish in structure and routines. I hope that all my students are as bright-eyed and intelligent as he is.

I also feel really relieved because I created a rubric to define my expectations for character trait growth in my students which helps me feel more organized. I made a checklist, too, of all the things I need to do with my parents to ensure I’m meeting my goals and fulfilling my vision.

Lastly, I am ecstatic that I finally have hot water. I was just washing dishes and listening to Taylor Swift on Pandora when I realized that the water running over my hands was not just warm… it was getting hot! Tears literally came to my eyes as I realized I’d be able to shower in my new home for the first time. “Finally,” I thought, “I live here.” I can’t wait to wrestle with the challenges that will arise in the next few weeks, and to invest my students in their own success.

2 Responses

  1. Kurt (Community Manager)

    Congratulations! Your post has been selected to be featured as a slider on the Teach For Us homepage!

  2. Hope you’ll considering entering our contest to get help from a reading expert — the Chief Academic Officer of Scholastic!

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