I know it’s already the 10th, and that puts me behind. At the same time, I know that I need to do something to better myself, something to keep my days from slipping away. So here it is–I want to write a little, every day. I want to make a running memory of my years to make sure I don’t forget the millions of things I’m learning.
To start, I work for a school in the “new” DPSCD district. This is only halfway through my third year of teaching, but I can tell you that I’m already a much stronger teacher than I used to be. I’ve learned to love but not to bleed, to be liked but not walked on, to push but not to demand the impossible. I’m not afraid to say silly things, and I’m not afraid that I will ruin anyone’s childhood anymore either. I’m not afraid to play with the kids and I’m not afraid to throw things, stand on desks, or get messy (yes, there are plenty of stories there too).
I teach 4th grade. It’s a hellish year anywhere, but the urban setting seems to have given my students a much more aggressive shove into puberty–everything from the petty fights and unwarranted tears to an overly large helping of bad attitude and attempted arson. Let’s add to that the fact that I’m a female teacher, and that most of my boys are being raised by their mothers only (yes, it makes a difference!) and that every single one of my students is African American, and it makes for some interesting cultural and racial conversations.
I have to appreciate their willingness to have those conversations though. I don’t start them, and I don’t tell them what to think. Instead I just ask them questions and let them draw their own conclusions. Usually I get a surprising amount of honesty and at least a couple of good laughs.
Anyway, I’m off track.
So this blog is going to be a record of my year, of moments and experiences that I have and how my days go. I’m also going to add in past experiences and thoughts as I have time, because some of the things I learned from those are important. I know a lot of people don’t care, or don’t know, or don’t want to know… but you’re here. So I’m assuming you do.
I have two classes, “B” and “A.” “B” class is my homeroom class–I have them in the morning, and I teach them math and science, as well as a class called “Test-Taking Strategies” and a math centers block. “A” class just gets math, math centers, and science. All that being said, “B” is the higher level class; it operates at a 3rd-4th grade math level and a 3rd-4th grade science level. “A” class, however, is operating at 1st-2nd grade level in both areas, although they are coming up as the year goes on.
I also have two City Year corps members. More on that later.