Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Throw Back: 6/19/06

Since I am currently on winter break and there isn't much news to report from C-117, I have decided to periodically post emails I sent while at TFA's summer institute in 2006, as well as a few emails from my first few months of teaching.  Enjoy - kas.

So middle school called and wanted me to be a teacher!...

...I wake up at 4:45 every morning (I know it is hard to believe).  I
shower in under 15 minutes.  Turn on coffee pot.  I run to the dinning
hall with wet hair and pick up a sack lunch.  Back in the apartment by
5:15.  Coffee's done; oatmeal's in the microwave.  I get ready, and
I'm on a big yellow school bus by 6:25 AM!!!  At school until 4:20 pm.
Bus back to Tech.  I sometimes have an hour or so to myself.  I
usually run and eat dinner, and then it is off to more lesson planning
clinics and content-based classes.  However, today I had a grand total
of 25 minutes between getting off the bus and my next commitment.  TFA
really does utilize every minute of the day.

I started teaching today.

I am teaching 7th grade literature to 22 young men. No girls.  I am at
Brown Middle School in West Atlanta.  Some days my school has air
condition, and on other days (like today) we don't.

My boys, and the entire school for that matter, are African American
and range in age from 12 to 16.  They are a little rowdy but have a
lot of potential for success.  A majority of my kids are still
learning 4th and 5th grade literature concepts.  My goal is to have
them meet at least 80% of the 7th grade objectives.  In some
circumstance this means advancing these kids 3 grade levels in 4
weeks.  It is going to take a lot of work, and I assume a lot of
late-night planning, but I'm excited to see them succeed.

I have Jaquavious who wants to be a rapper when he grows up, who sits
in class and writes rhymes.  Toyae is our class clown, but such a calm
and smart kid one-on-one.  They like to make fun of my friend Charles
(a big-white dude from Texas A&M who was a cadet there).  When they
talk about Charels they change their voice to make themselves sound
like "yuppie white folks" and then ask Charles if he's going to be
skate boarding after class.  It is very comical.  I hope...and
expect...I will be learning just as much from these kids as they will
be learning from me.

This is by far the most challenging thing I have ever done, and I'm
not sure I could have ever imagine what it would be like, but I am
loving every minute of it and I can't wait to implement everything
back in North Carolina.

The new kid on the block

I've wanted to blog for quite some time, and I even dabbled in a little blogging once or twice in the past...anyways, here is my new and hopefully successful blog.  My postings will be a  mix of life in room C-117, a few personal stories, and the occasional random rant.  As a warning I will let you know that I hope to use this blog as a forum to record memories and spark discussion.  I want this to be a place for free though and free writing...that being said, I may not always use correct grammar, sentence formation, or even spelling.  I may be guilty of a comma slice, faulty punctuation, and the occasional over use of ellipses...please don't judge. Read, drink coffee and be merry.  Finally, I'm not fully committed to my title and suggestions are welcomed. - kas