Miss Bennett in the Bay

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

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Aug 27 2007

And We’re Off!

Tomorrow is the first day of school. At 8:30 am I will be standing at the front of a classroom full of 7 year olds. And they’re going to look at me as if I know what I’m doing. Ha. After a very long week of Open Court training followed by four very intense classroom…

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Aug 07 2007

Back in the Bay and Better Than Ever

Now that I’m back from Institute, I’ve been trying to synthesize everything that happened there. I’d be doing a lot better job if I had a spare moment to myself, but I haven’t. Friday night after I got back from Grape Street Elementary for the last time, I packed up all my stuff and moved…

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Well, I did it. Almost, anyway. It is 6:12 am here on Friday, August 3, 2007. The last day of Institute. There are many things that I want to say about my experience overall, but I think that is for a later post. Today, we’re talking data. Last time I analyzed my students’ data, they…

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Jul 30 2007

New York Times Sunday Magazine

Today begins the best week yet of Institute: WEEK 5! This is the last Monday morning that I have to wake up here. Each day this week is a milestone for that reason- it’s the last one of its kind. I know I can survive this, however painful it might be. Today was actually a…

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Jul 28 2007

Bay Area Bowling Bonanza

I’m 80% done with Institute. Only one more week of sleeping in a dorm bed, eating dorm food, waking up before the sun comes up, writing bad lesson plans, making bad posters, and carrying said posters to school on a tiny yellow school bus. One more week. I realize that I have not posted as…

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Jul 21 2007

60% Done is NOT Enough

I think I speak for everyone here when I say the hell-hole that is Institute cannot be over soon enough. I am having difficulty comprehending the idea that I still have two more weeks of this. I am trying to stay positive, and tell myself that there are only two more weeks, but after yesterday…

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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…

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Jul 17 2007

Code Blue… Followed by TFA Day

Today we had a code blue at school. Code blue means that the school goes on lockdown. There is some kind of nasty stuff happening in the surrounding neighborhood. So, wherever you are on campus, you go inside the nearest door, with whichever kids happen to be near you at the time, and shut the…

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Jul 14 2007

First Week of Teaching….

And 40% done with Institute. I have to keep reminding myself of these kinds of arbitrary milestones, otherwise I will never make it. Many people have already not made it. It’s discouraging to see some of my friends from the Bay packing up their bags. We’re exhausted, overworked, stressed, delirious, and yet, somehow, we do…

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Jul 12 2007

Total Delirium

The last two nights I’ve only gotten 4 and a half hours of sleep each. That is a long amount of time in comparison to most people that I’ve talked to. 2 or 3 hours is the norm. Last night my roommate got 30 minutes of sleep. I haven’t seen her yet today, so I…

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That is the TFA tagline for “things that you suck at doing.” Or, in my case, classroom management while giving second graders math diagnostics on the second day of summer school. To be fair, pre-recess wasn’t that bad. The kids were very respectful about listening while I was explaining the consequences, following my instructions, and…

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Jul 09 2007

The First Day of School Was…

…Amazing. Exhilarating. Terrifying. Inspiring. Incredible. Saddening. Uplifting. Unbelievable. In short, I loved it. My kids are awesome. Not everyone showed up on the first day, and there were some last minute add-ons that we hadn’t planned for. But they were, for the most part, pretty engaged, for kids in summer school. They hate taking tests,…

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Jul 06 2007

20% Done

Today marks the day that I am officially 20% done with Institute. Four more weeks to go. Probably the four hardest weeks of my life…. until I begin teaching on my own. I meet my “babies” on Monday. That is what my school director (SD) calls them. Tiny little second graders with their tiny little…

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Jul 05 2007

Independence Day

I suppose that I could write a smarmy, slightly cliched post about the irony of the holiday that is July 4th. Given that I got up at 5 am and worked all day long, I will spare you and myself. I think you are smart enough to figure out the irony on your own. Because…

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Jul 04 2007

Sitting in Little Tiny Chairs

Day 2 of Institute is officially finished. That means that I have 33 more days of Institute to go. That seems pretty manageable, don’t you think? As per usual in TFA, the past 2 days have felt more like 2 weeks. I have already internalized all the crazy TFA acronyms for everything, and I’ll try…

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