Bodacious in Baltimore

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Aug 12 2011


There are 2 weeks and 3 days until I welcome my students into my classroom and the list of things I haven’t done is getting overwhelming. The thing that really frustrates me is that I like to get work done ahead of time and my school has made that impossible. The following are issues I have right now in these remaining 17 days

1. I have no idea what I am teaching. When I got hired I got an e-mail saying they wanted me to teach 8th grade math. i have looked at the curriculum, created a vision tailored to the idea of becoming adults and gong to high school, and I have created my quarter 1 long term. However, yesterday a bunch of other non-hired TFAers (there situation def sucks more, no argument) had an interview at my school for an elementary position and the interviewer mentioned I would be working there teaching middle school science and 6th grade math. Yikes. I would love to teach science…experiments are cool and field trips are definitely cool. However, I just want to know so i can prepare before my students are lined up at the door wanting to know science that I have yet to come up with.

2. I have no idea how many classes i am teaching…1? 2? 3? 4? What kind of organization will I need? Will I be teaching more than one subject? How many class colors do I need?

3. How many kids are in my class? Even on average i would like to know…

4. Does my school use MathWorks? I have e-mailed this question and asked a bunch and goten no response…that worries me because I like MathWorks and how easy it makes your life. Especially if I have to become a superb science teacher in 17 days I am gonna need to have the math locked down.

5. When are the benchmark dates at my school? The carefully crafted quarter one plan will need to be trashed if they have dates they require me to administer the benchmarks…not that the until plan will help me at all if I am now teaching 6th grade math or science or something.

I wasn’t feeling so overwhelmed until NTI this week. Before I kind of assumed that everyone was in the same boat and that we are teaching at these under performing schools and that it wouldn’t be unusual for them not to have everything together. I get to NTI this week and everyone know everything about what they are teaching. People were making there class lists today from their rosters and adjusting their LPs for student’s IEP’s. We keep having all this work time and I am like WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO BE DOING?

Teachable Moment for myself: You need to be flexible was a very serious understatement.

One Response

  1. cmurphy389

    I can absolutely feel your frustration and I 100% applaud you for being so proactive! I am also in a situation with little concrete information so the best I’ve been able to do is re-read books that I’m putting in my classroom library. I wish us both luck as we keep asking questions and hoping for any response.

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