Toni's Class

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
May 27 2012

What a year!

So… life got busy!  After the first week of school, things picked up so quickly that blogging was not a priority.  In the blink of an eye, the first year was over.  And what a year it was!

Some thoughts…

My students are incredible.  They will change the world.  I am excited to see what they accomplish.  They have incredible potential.  Relationships were critical in my teaching this year.  During Institute, I underestimated the importance of relationships–never again.  I genuinely hope I will still be keeping up with these students years from now.

I love my school and my school system.  I had many opportunities to interact with the school system through my certification program and coordinating my maternity leave, and I am so fortunate that they are on the ball.  My district is organized and efficient.  I am grateful.  And I am certified!  My school?  Where to start?  My school is a family.  I am fortunate to work with some of the most dedicated, caring, and talented teachers around.  I have learned from so many voices this year, and I am grateful.  I look forward to continuing to learn from them.  Work is truly a joyful place.

TFA has been a great resource throughout the year.  A word of unsolicited advice on working with TFA during your first year–work with your team to make sure the interactions are helpful for you.  I was fortunate that my MTLD told me, “I don’t want to be another appointment to clog up your calendar.  How can I help lighten your load?”  We used our meetings to help craft real world solutions to problems in my classroom that worked, which made my life easier and increased student achievement.

As for my thoughts on teaching in general and the achievement gap, I will hold those.  I will share that a lot of preconceived notions have gone out the window, and the problems in our educational system are far more complex than I had initially realized.  Sometimes, I long for the days when I thought I had all the answers!  While I would love to fight the problems institutionally, for now, I fight for the best for the students in my classroom, day-by-day, student-by-student.  And I celebrate the many successes I see every single day.

It is almost funny now to read some of my earlier posts–the hesitation that I had about my career change.  I love where I am.  I really thought that being able to get rid of the Sunday night “dreads” was only a myth.  It’s not.  I’m already excited for summer school to start!

Find your passion.


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