Stir Up the World

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jun 15 2011

lesson plans and glorious bus rides

I’m telling myself right now that this’ll be a short post, but, knowing me, it probably won’t.

In the tradition of TFA, today was an incredibly long day — probably the heaviest one we’ve had so far, too.  We had multiple intense, 2-hour-plus sessions on lesson planning, classroom management, and investing students.  Just when we would really get thinking on one of those topics, we’d have to shift gears and get really deep in another topic.

I had multiple moments of discouragement, and today gave the word “overwhelming” a whole new meaning.  But everything is getting much more interesting and applicable, so that wasn’t the issue; it was more like “How on earth am I going to do all of this?”.  I’m also still really intimidated when it comes to classroom management, but I’m feeling slightly better than I was.

I just emailed in my first two lesson plans, one on order of operations and one on scientific notation.  Let me just say: lesson planning is hard!  Each one took me much longer than it should have, and I hope I’ll have time this weekend to practice and get a head start on next week’s plans. Though this work is incredibly hard, it’s what I want to do. So different from piddly high school or college classes, this learning is what I want and need to do for my career, so it’s fulfilling and satisfying.

Institute has given me a whole new appreciation for exercise.  After sitting, listening, thinking and talking all day, it’s felt wonderful to move my body, not talk, and NOT THINK for a glorious half hour.

Another thing: the bus rides are becoming my favorite parts of the day.  It’s an hour each way, and though I have to wake up an hour earlier than some other CMs, once I’m on the bus I really do enjoy the ride.  I get to sit, watch the sunrise, enjoy the beautiful Mississippi scenery, and listen to my ipod for an hour, and it’s surprisingly wonderful.  It’s perfect for amping myself up or decompressing before or after a long day.

And – I’ve been saving the best for last:  I WAS PLACED today! I’m teaching 7th grade math in a random little town in southeast Arkansas.  I don’t know much about it, but I do know that there’s a Target an hour away!  It’s about 2 hours from here, so I’ll have to go visit on a weekend.  I’ll also have to get to know the other CMs that are placed in that school!  Yay!

Okay, I have to get up in 5 hours.  I really need to get to bed.

A treat for you:  they showed this at the end of the day yesterday — it makes me happy and gives me goosebumps:

2 Responses

  1. Katie

    Yay! Congratulations on getting a placement! And I’m glad that Target’s not too far away. Happy Thursday! :)

  2. deltarachel

    the morning bus ride is my favorite part of the day too! so blissful and beautiful :)

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rural Arkansas, eh?

Mississippi Delta
Middle School

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June 2011
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the title

"If one desires to 'stir up the world,' it is easy to be impatient with work for the sake of work. Yet no story's end can forsake its beginning and its middle." -Joshua Wolf Shank on Abraham Lincoln