hot math

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Nov 06 2008

176 days

Exactly a week ago, last Thursday night, I laid under my covers crying out my stress, frusturation, and exhaustion. Jill (my roommate and fellow TFA-er) came in and laid next to me. She didn’t have to say anything, because we both understand exactly where the tears come and how they are valid.

 I refused to do any work for my class and just fell asleep in my bed next to Jill and figured tomorrow (last Friday) would be a new day…

…it was “new.” Also worse.

Friday was probably my worst day. I was so frusturated with my lessons, as the material is challenging and half of the class is bored/mastering it and the other half is lost/bored in confusion. Woof. More stress from the math department, more stress from school to-do’s, I am pretty sure I burst blood vessels in my throat from screaming at them(which I’m not proud of), one of my students was put in the hospital after being beat up on the way home (which stresses me out), a student at my school died from menengitis and at the time they didn’t know if it had spread through the school…..

 …it was too much.

 The weekend was refreshing and Monday was a day off; I did my excellent school visits. It was really good to see other math classes because it gave me confidence. That is not in a cocky way, but there is no doubt I am my worst critic and I often feel like a failure for not having stellar organization, procedures, or when a handful of my students are lost. When I went to watch these excellent teachers, I felt relieved because my classroom didn’t look much different.

I am not great, but I am getting better each day, each week, each unit…which is good. I met with my PD on Monday, who praised my students’ investment and commended me, even though I cried about the lesson he witnessed. I’m too hard on myself sometimes.

He’s helping me a lot and I’m meeting with him tomorrow to prep for Unit 3. He taught 6th grade math so he’s going to teach it to me. Seriously :)

I visited Disney Land on Monday. By Disney Land I mean a KIPP school. I am in love…so cool.

This week has been interesting with my students. Today I met one of my parents that I’ve been dying to meet with on the bus. She only speaks Spanish and she is never home at night to talk. I’ve been calling for weeks. Finally, we get in tocuh and I find out she’s the bus driver. YES! So, I waited at the bus loop this morning and when she pulled up we talked for awhile. She had to leave the loop to make room for buses, but I jumped on and rode with her, talking about her son. (Thank God for first period off). It was good and my Spanish wasn’t too bad. Today he was SO much better, just got to keep working on him.

Mr. Reyes. Sigh. Still stuck on what to do with him, but I am just going to keep trying. We had a conference yesterday after school, where he told me about getting whipped with a cable and started crying. Like tears from my “tough” kid. I was so proud of him doing his homework for a little bit of time, until I find out he beat up one of my other students to do it. Great.

On a lighter note: OBAMA WON! YESSSS!!! So. Happy. I was crying during his speech, just out of joy. I think part of it was because of my students, there’s hope for them…they can change, they just must believe and work hard.

I really do love them. There’s just so much to do, and so much stress.

But, it’s Thursday night and I’m still at school, typing away, and things are OK. Hey, at least it’s no last Thursday night :)

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    Closing the Math Gap in HTOWN

    Middle School

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