crunk for chem

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Sep 10 2011

I’ve got a beautiful feeling….

…..Everything’s going my way.

And “everything” obviously doesn’t include efficient class schedules/rosters, quality learning environments, or access to all the resources that I need.  But besides that, I had a pretty good first week of school.  Well, that could be a bit hyped up, but the good definitely outweighed the bad.

“The 2nd year is much better” is SUCH an understatement.   Even though the chaos/disorder of my school and district remains pretty much the same, at least having SOMEWHAT of  clue of what you’re doing as a teacher makes life soooo much easier.  I’m a pro at winging stuff, going with the flow, and I feel much more comfortable in front of my students.

The other amazing thing I’m noticing is the great rapport and relationships I’m already developing with my new students.  I think part of this comes from building up a positive reputation during my first year.  And word of mouth is the best form of advertisement, so most of my new students came to me having heard good things about my class or about me as a teacher.  So this helped tons.  Even more, I gained a better understanding of the student and community culture that I was dealing with during my first year.  So I used that to guide me in my demeanor, presentation, explanations, humor, etc.  It’s great.  All so great.  So far, all of my students are on board.  And even if this is just a honeymoon phase for the 1st couple weeks, I definitely think I can leverage off of it in the future when things get rough in the classroom.

As much as I’m excited about these new students, my former ones still warm  my heart.  “Make new friends, but keep the old.  One is silver and the other’s gold.”   <–I think this definitely applies to students as well.  My students from last year stopped by frequently to visit and tell me how much they missed my class or wished I was their teacher again.  This is such great motivation for giving my new kids a great experience.  Also, some of my former students, mostly seniors, come by my room during their free periods and help me with stuff around the classroom.  And who am I to deny free labor?  :-D

And finally, the highlight of my week goes to one new student in particular, Pauly.  (Everyone calls him this because he had a haircut like Pauly D.  from Jersey Shore, but this is not actually his name.  I was disappointed when I found out it was just a nickname because I was definitely fooled.  Thought it was a cool coincidence.  I’m still gullible, people!)  Anyways, Pauly was one of the reckless freshmen last year,  who’s schedule was completely Hallway 101.  He had a friend in my class last year, and always came into my classroom to be with him.  Some days, I just let him stay because I figured it was better that he was there than making trouble in the halls.  I even made him do the work with us! Lol . Overall, he’s a a pretty unmotivated kid; got into trouble a lot, very bad grades, etc.  Not violent or outwardly disruptive, but just a notorious slacker.    So this year, he ends up in one of my chemistry classes.  He comes in the first day beaming and says “Miss, I’m in your class!”  (Took me a second to even recognize him because the Pauly D hair was gone. )  Many teachers don’t seem fond of him, but to me he is SO sweet.  I think the time he spent “visiting” my classroom last year really helped.   I can tell that school is really not his thing but I believe he just needs the right motivation.  I can already see that he cares a lot about my class, my opinion, and impressing me.  Everyday during this 1st week he’s been on task, completing his work, and before he leaves, always asks “Miss, I’m doing good, right?”   And every  time I answer, I make sure to hype him up to the fullest; especially because, from the way he asks, I get the vibe that I’m the first teacher that ever said anything positive to him.  Definitely going to keep my eyes on him this year.  And hopefully I can try to get him to be motivated in all of his classes and not just mine.

So, that’s all for now! I will try to update every Friday.  Not going to promise anything crazier than that, especially with this off the wall schedule they gave me.  (I won’t even bring up the fact that we have teacher shortages considering how many teachers are out of work right now. Another story for another day.)   Alright, time to stop thinking about work.  I’m determined to have a life outside of my occupation this year.   Thanks for reading!  Deuces!

2 Responses

  1. Shona

    That must be a nice feeling to have the previous students come back and help/stop by. We always remember the good teachers…….

  2. Diana

    Awwwwww.. You are a wonderful teacher.

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a Teach For America teacher's blog

Greater Newark
High School

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