Teaching Tree Hugging

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jul 02 2007

Mondays mondays…

Every Monday, with no fail, I cry. I’m okay the rest of the week– be it a bad day or a good day. Likewise, whether Monday is a bad day or a good day, I end up crying. The first Monday of induction I was homesick and weary of apartment/roommate hunting. The second Monday, the first day of Institute, I have never been so tired in all of my life. The third Monday was my first day of teaching. Last Monday my classroom was mass chaos and my management failed. This Monday… was great?

Today was amazing. My class was excited to learn bright and early. I had a well-planned lesson on classifying angles. We played simon says with angles. They were being responsible and respectful. I was on top of my consequences, knew my material and my pacing was impeccable. The students were begging me to stay for an extra class period. They averaged 95% on their assessments. The afternoon sessions were a breeze and interesting. My debrief went well, I identified why I was encountering some of the challenges in the classroom. I met my friends for dinner. And we had a Phoenix meeting that fired me up to return “home” in 2 weeks.

And then, finally back in my room at 830 ready to work, the tears came. I hit a wall in lesson planning. I had no clue how to even begin to break down stats objectives since I have never even taken a stats class. I felt a lack of creativity. I was nodding off at my computer. All I wanted was my bed.

Never have I ever felt such a dual sensation of success and failure. I have begun to embody exactly what I have heard veteran CMs describe as never feeling complacent, never feeling that anything is good enough. Despite the amazing day, I want to do better. I want to not only maintain this attitude of respect and achievement in my classroom but strive for even more. I know we can reach higher. Maybe that’s why the tears come on Mondays, because I’ve come so far, I can cross off one more week of Institute on my calendar, but there is still SO MUCH left to accomplish. Still so little time to bring my students up to speed before the CRCT.

Hopefully I’ll never lose that sense of urgency and high expectations within me. But I also hope that in my region it’ll be balanced a little better with time… to breathe, to go for a run or even iron my clothes. That’d be nice…

2 more weeks. But only one more Monday.

Love & Hug A Tree

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