Miss Bennett in the Bay

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jul 18 2007

Over the Hump

Today I am officially more than halfway done with Institute. It has been a crazy emotional roller coaster, and today was no exception. Half the time I feel so incompetent that I think the kids would be better off with a monkey for their teacher, and the other half I think that at least what I’m giving these kids is better than what they would have gotten otherwise.

But today is a true milestone: I have tangible evidence that the kids appreciate my presence. The kids finished their friendly letters today, but some of the kids had finished yesterday. As an extension activity, I wrote them individualized letters and asked them to please write back to me. Only two of the kids actually did (while the other three did not finish their letters back to me.) Here is what they said (spelling and syntax are, as usual, intact):

Dear Ms. Bennett
How are you doing today Ms. Benntt. Ms. Benntt you gife us sum hord homework I stle duse it. Ms. Benntt you is the good teacher I like it ceep up the good work. I’m so in rest uf your riting. When I do math
Love R

Roughly translated as: How are you doing today, Ms. Bennett? Ms. Bennett, you give us some hard homework, but I still do it. Ms. Bennett, you are a good teacher. I like it. Keep up the good work. I’m so impressed with your writing. (When I do math? I have no idea).

The other letter is easier to translate. It reads:
Dear Ms. Bennett
I like the litter that you made me. I’m glad to have you as a teacher. I amer (I can’t decide if this is some conjugation of the spanish word amor, for to love, or if it’s supposed to be admire) you I hope you have a nice day. I hope you don’t have nothing to do for you cold set next to me in lunch.
D your third grade thinker

In case you were wondering, I sat next to both of them at lunch. They loved it.

All the other kids completed their friendly letters. They at least understand the different parts of the letter now, though some of them needed prompting: I think you left something off of the end of your letter. “Oh, the closing and signature!”

I was still feeling pretty bummed out this afternoon though because my classroom management skills are not quite there. It’s not just me, it’s my entire collab, so I don’t feel that bad. So, I went to my curriculum specialist’s office hours tonight. Jonathan has such a calming and soothing voice, talking to him just makes me feel better. He gave me some awesome ideas that are easily implemented into my classroom tomorrow. I can now rest easy feeling at least mildly competent.

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    "All that is gold does not glitter, not all who wander are lost." -J. R. R. Tolkien

    Bay Area
    Elementary School
    Elementary Education

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