Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jul 19 2010

A Rocky Road

I’m 3 weeks into institute and I have had a few months worth of ups and downs. This last week I had a pretty hard time. Two times during the week I ended my time as the lead teacher feeling less than successful. I was honestly started to think my beginner’s luck had worn off and that I would slowly get worse and worse.

After a lot of reflection, I realized that I wasn’t putting myself in a position to be successful and that if I wanted to get better, I had to make some changes.  I was actually attempting to get by without some concrete plan to keep my tasks organized.  Let’s be clear, there is no way to be successful here without organization.

My next issue- I was not utilizing resources and finding ways to improve my lessons.  Then I realized that the resource room in my dorm actually has resources. And as a result, my second takeaway from this week is that I have the resources to use when I need to build on areas I’m struggling in.

My solutions (you may want to use these if you haven’t tried them)- Gmail Calendars allows you to get emails for reminders for every event on the calendar. So now every deadline and task I have is on a calendar and has a email reminder being sent to my phone. Next, I am working 2 days ahead this weekend. I have come to accept that I work slow and doing everything the night before its due is not working for me. Lastly, I’m running my lesson plans by everybody and seeking advice from everybody!

It was a hard week, but now I feel like I have finally adjusted to 4 hours of sleep, the same food everyday, being productive 20 hours a day, etc. For the first time I woke up on Sunday optimistic rather than depressed at how much work I have to do.  I can do this. I will do this.

“… remember why you’re doing this. Think about the kids…”

3 Responses

  1. Do us a favor… tell 10 CMs to start blogging. And then tell them to tell 10 CMs. :) We want to fill up the site with lots of new blogs!

  2. Karla Z.

    I enjoy reading your blog Justin! I’m sure you hear TFA folks talk about being reflective and it seems like you are. That is a really good attitude to have….when things don’t seem to be going right, think about how you can make it better! Whew, organization…..tell me about it. I think all teachers should have full time secretaries. Wait til you get to your school and ALL the paperwork kicks in!

  3. KING Tut!

    Hold it down ship! Those reminders will def keep you on your tose! Also writed everything down, just like the Fall 07 days when I kept you and Ag on yall tose! LOL

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a Teach For America teacher’s blog

Los Angeles
Elementary School
Elementary Education

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