B is for 'Bama

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jul 09 2012

Exciting news!

So today was a very exciting day! I got a call from my lovely new principal at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary school in Huntsville Alabama. She was calling to welcome me and offer me a job as a KINDERGARTEN TEACHER!!!! Finally I have all the information I could ever want- I will be teaching Kindergarten in Huntsville Alabama! Wow, I cannot believe it, I am SO excited!!! I think it is so neat that I will most likely be these little students first teacher and have the important job of setting them up to be ahead of the game instead of already falling behind.

It has been so long since my last post… The past 3 weeks have been crazy!  There have been many ups and downs along the way, but ultimately I have seen so much growth in my little Life Long Learners that it truly warms my heart. I cannot believe that I have just one week left with these kids :(

Some highlights and fun stories:

I switched from teaching reading the first two weeks to now teaching math. I never thought I would, but I have actually loved teaching math. I think because it is very concrete (2+2 is always four, you are either right or wrong) the kids can easily see their progress and so are much more confident in their math abilities than their reading skills. I love seeing them so excited to learn and really proud of themselves.

I also had arrival/dismissal and lunch duty the past week which was interesting. Unfortunately sometimes what I see at summer school doesnt really line up with what I have learned in Child Development as best practices for kids. Yes, everyone is here first and foremost for the kids, but its sad when state testing and benchmarks cloud a schools ability to put the kids best interests at the top of their lists. Our children arrive at school by bus from 7:00-7:30, eat a silent breakfast, go sit silently in a line in the gym until 8 then 2 blocks of reading, 1 block of math, then a silent TEN MINUTE lunch, then 1 more block of math, then back to silent lines in the gym to wait for busses. Wow, wears me out just thinking of all that silence, I cannot imagine how my 7 year olds do it!!! No wonder why they are so energetic in the afternoon!

Trying to motor silence in the gym at 7:30 AM is nearly impossible on a Friday morning. We do everything from math flash-cards to rock, paper, scissors, games. But, the one thing that does the trick is the, “everyone gets to pet a slice of ms. B’s hair” game. haha twisting and petting could keep them amused and quiet for hours…! One of my boys told me that my hair “smells like…like.. a summer breeze!” (when asked exactly what was a summer breeze?  he wasnt too sure…!)

Later that same day while motoring silent lunch, my one little girl waved her hand “ms. B, Ms. B, Ms. B” I walk over, “yes ma’am?”  as shes looking around the room at all the TFA teachers with their classes she proclaims, “There are a lotta white people in here!”

I just love their honesty!

Wish our classroom luck as we enter into our last week of summer school! Reading and math end of summer assessments  are taken on Wednesday and will give us a good picture of how much we were really able to teach them (yikes!)

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A child miseducated is a child lost. -JFK

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