Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jul 07 2011

Let’s be less dramatic, shall we?

I feel like I turn to this blog a lot to process my experiences in writing, which often means that they have a snapshot moment or powerful feeling at the middle of them. I’m realizing this may be somewhat melodramatic to read all the time. So while I have just come from the first-ever Native Achievement Initiative meeting ever held at a TFA Institute, the first meeting to focus specifically on Native issues and communities with 3 corps who will be working with Native kids (South Dakota, Oklahoma and NEW MEXICORPS!), I’m going to put that post off till tomorrow in favor of something a little less dramatic.

Here are my 2 less dramatic thoughts:

  1. I (think I) suck significantly less at teaching now than I used to.
  2. I’ve had no time to talk to my friends recently.

Re: statement 1, I think the thing I am taking away from Institute is an ability to tell which area is currently malfunctioning in my classroom. We have all these big theoretical conversations about What Is Investment or Why We Should Manage Behavior, and I’m often frustrated because yeah, I buy it, investment matters, now tell me something practical already! But the good bit of this is that when my kids were bopping around this afternoon not quite with it (read: flopping on the carpet) I could figure out that it wasn’t my content, it wasn’t my scaffolding, it wasn’t my expectations or behavior management technique, it was my investment strategy that was lacking. Which is why my kids, although they learned the objective, didn’t care about it at all. Classroom diagnosis is good because although I’m kicking myself for not fixing it at the time, I know what went wrong to fix it now.

Re: statement 2, I’m pretty bummed. My friends matter so much to me, and I value their opinions and insight and jokes and funny faces and dance moves and so much more, but for the past month or so I have quite honestly not had the time to even call them. The time difference doesn’t help, because by the time I’m finished with lessons for tomorrow it’s 1:30 in Chicago and 2:30 in Boston (that’s in the morning) which is a bit past calling hours. If you’re one of those special people I love so much, rest assured that I both love you so much and am recommitting myself to staying in better touch as soon as Institute is over. Slash this weekend? Let’s start then.

I’ll be writing my inspirational dramatic post tonight too, but until I post that one I hope you’ve enjoyed the totally normal not-so-epic musings. I’ll be honest, I needed the brain break of writing this one.

One Response

  1. Hello! Totally not on the topic of this post at all… but I wanted to run something past you. I teach 1st/2nd grade in Illinois, and I’m participating in a postcard exchange where my class will receive 49 postcards from every state in the US! The exchange still needs a representative from New Mexico. It sounds like you’ll be just starting this fall, but would you be interested in participating? It would be an awesome experience for your students and could help you with geography and writing!

    If this sounds like something you’re interested in, check out this link:

    and send an email to primarygraffiti at yahoo dot com


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In which I muse about New Mexico, teaching, and life in general.

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