TFA Tales

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jul 01 2013

Back On Track

After last Thursday’s dramatic class, I was nervous to head back to school this morning. I like to think I did a good job of acting like I was calm and confident, but inside I was terrified my class would come back just as rambunctious as when they left before the weekend. Luckily, things seem to be improving.

I love my class, I really do. I have a handful of talkers and one or two who can easily get the whole class off track, but they are a group of great kids. They mostly just lack the confidence they need to succeed. I’ve seen them slowly coming out of their shells, though. The hardest thing for me is to have them answer questions perfectly one-on-one, but to then be too embarrassed or shy to give an answer to the class. Even more than that – because I understand shyness and fearing being wrong in front of the class – they just refuse to write anything down. I had to explain to one student today how he had great speaking answers, but that can only get him his participation points for the day. To pass the class he needs to put those answers on paper.

They are slowly catching on and starting to write more, even if a few need one-on-one help to get their thoughts organized enough. But I am confident they can do it. There are only 6 more instruction days left, and I am so nervous for them. I want my kids to pass more than anything, but I’m nervous that no matter if they do or do not pass this class, they won’t have the direct instruction that seems to help them so much. So my main goal is to instill in these kids the confidence they need to ask questions, make mistakes and succeed.

I think we had some strong improvements today with writing, but we’re cutting it close to the end and there is just so much to cover between now and then! I’m hoping that our new behavior management efforts work quickly, so we can have time to best prepare the class to pass!

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Living, Loving, Learning

Rio Grande Valley
Middle School

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