This Saturday, we had the Bay Area Spring Conference, which is pretty much the last official TFA thing I will do as a corps member (with the exception of our Alumni Sendoff in the spring.)
My first thought when I walked in the door? Damn, there are a lot of ’08 corps members.
Their corps doubled the size of ours. Makes it difficult when walking into a TFA event and I can count on one hand the number of faces I recognize.
Oh well, the conference itself was very helpful. I went to a session given by Kilian Betlach on teaching with the brain in mind. It was about giving appropriate brain breaks, reducing fear, and managing a psychologically healthy classroom. I loved it. I tried some of the strategies out today and I noticed a huge difference in my kids. Awesome.
The most inspiring part of the whole day? When Kilian said (something I’ve heard before, but forgotten), “To close the achievement gap, we must erase the gap between the teachers we are, and the teachers our students need us to be.”
The Spring Conference is also a time for second-year corps members to think for real about what they will do next year. I have accepted a job at a charter school in downtown San Jose. I will be teaching second grade math for next year, at least. Yes, I will be teaching only math. Part of this charter school’s model is giving teachers the freedom to focus on only one subject area, so you can be better at teaching it. I am super excited. Math is my favorite subject to teach, and I can’t wait to make all 80 of my students next year frikin awesome at it.