B is for 'Bama

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jun 18 2012

Exciting news! not so exciting news…

Quick updates: Very little sleep… No free time at all… For example, been up since 4:00AM this morning, got on my bus to go to my school at 5:30AM, at School site all day testing kids and in sessions learning and just got back from school now, 6:25… starving, exhausted and a million things to do before tomorrow. Tomorrow my group and I have full reign of our class of 13 rising 2nd graders. After we spend the first hour on our class goals, basic rules and daily procedures, we each have our individual teaching time. Tomorrow I will be doing our reading comprehension lesson. Leo the late bloomer and making predictions… I cant wait!


Exciting news! I got placed!!! Finally I have an answer to where in Alabama will you be? HUNTSVILLE! I will be in Huntsville teaching elementary (unfortunately I STILL dont know what exact grade… but learning to work with what I’ve got!).


Not so exciting news… Today we did some reading/spelling assessments on our kids.. wow, the results were not so exciting to say the least. We have been talking about the daunting ‘achievement gap’ since we arrived at training this summer, but today we experienced first hand its tragic implications. Out of the nine kids we tested in our class (remember, they just finished 1st grade) only 2 of them could spell B-E-D correctly. That was the easiest word on the test. Not only can the others not spell it correctly, many of them did not even demonstrate their understanding of the beginning letter.

Demonkus's spelling assessment

After grading their tests (the most words out of 10 that anyone got right was 3) I didnt know what to think. Should I be mad at their Kindergarden and first grade teachers? What have you been doing the past 2 years in school? Did anyone sing you your ABC’s? Do you know which sounds the letters make? 4 weeks…. thats all Ms. Bradford, Ms. Gallagher, Ms. Marsh and I (Ms. B) ┬áhave with you, what can we do?

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