The Learning Curve

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jul 29 2011

Long overdue

I am happily back in NOLA! Institute ended, and I survived. (Not with a bang, but a whimper, admittedly.)

In the interim, I returned back to the city, lived in Tulane’s illustrious dorms for a little over a week and then found a house with my two lovely roommates. It’s a beautiful house and we live in close proximity to other 2011 CMs, which is sure to be great. I already love living with them and our house is pretty awesome.

The past few weeks, and the upcoming week, have been and will be dedicated to getting my life together. We got our utilities set up for our house, I got my stuff out of storage (an unbelievably large headache, but thank God it’s over), set up everything and did a whole lotta laundry. I haven’t had very much TFA-related professional development and my placement school is in a period of flux, so I’ve had an unexpected amount of down time. I wish I could say it’s been nice, but honestly, more than four days of “vacation,” and I start to lose my damn mind. One can only watch so much Netflix, right? Furthermore, without professional development, I feel like I am without a reference point on where to start. Compared with the constant demands of just existing within the confines of Institute, I wake up every morning feeling as if, surely, I’ve forgotten to turn something in or attend a meeting. But it hasn’t been true for me at all, and that’s kind of frustrating because I went from a highly structured environment to one where I feel like I am floating in an abyss with very little to do. Anyhow, I’ve met with my PD (program director, now called M,TLD which stands for Manager, Teacher Leader Development) and our PD group, or cohort, and right now I’m trying to focus on how I want to decorate/organize my class, what to ask for on school supply lists, and lesson planning.

I can’t help but feel terribly behind before I’ve even started, though I don’t know that for sure. The year has yet to start, but it’s right around the corner and I have no idea what to put on those school supply lists or even what format my school wants my lesson plans in. I feel woefully unprepared. It’s not that I feel as if I know nothing, I just feel as if I am not adequately planning for the beginning of the year because I have no idea what to expect. Today I plan on getting some lesson plans done, making my rules and consequences posters, and drafting my beginning of the year letter to parents. Hopefully I will have time to visit my school and rearrange some things, too.

Now I’m off to hunt for some kids’ books and ideas for classroom setup!

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