The Engaged Idealist

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jun 18 2014

Institute

Okay I know they said I would be tired and hungry, and I am, but I didn’t realize how tired and how hungry. In the grand scheme of things it really isn’t that bad as long as I fall asleep around 11pm. I am up every morning at 5:30 am, in sessions until about 5, then dinner, and lesson planning and that takes me to about 10pm, which is when I just collapse after such a long day.

I have found that a handful of almonds goes a long way as a snack. I also appreciate the time they have given us to share ideas with one another, but I feel like sometimes I just need to retreat from people a bit. Its way too exhausting to be in interaction with people all day. I almost like the independence of lesson planning in the evening. This program was made and modeled for extroverts.  I should have them read Quiet (nod to my lovely roommate and friend). I did some research and I actually would be defined as an ambivert as opposed to an extrovert which makes sense as to why I am getting burned out from the constant companionship. I enjoy it for meals and hanging out, but I also like to put on a pair of headphones and relax, and even dance (I know, what did this past year do to me!?).

I have been keeping my emotions pretty regulated as well, which I guess is a large success considering how last week was. I almost don’t have time to grieve or think too much about anything, but on the bus to my school I got a google alert for news from SPU about the funeral and I needed to take a break. Thankfully I have a really understanding CMA who has been stellar in letting me take effective breaks, and guiding me through the long lesson planning instructions. I actually am starting to feel pretty confidant in my creative abilities. I can’t believe I haven’t even been here a week.

I get to meet my kids on Monday! I am so excited to see them. I found out that the school is in South Central LA in the Crenshaw area. The area has a lot of negativity around it, but the school has been improving and I got to meet some graduating seniors who were so proud to share their college bound plans with us. One is heading to UCLA and another is going to UC Davis. They have such bright futures, I am so excited for them. The school I am teaching in is 99% latino or black and 94% of students receive free or reduced lunch, so they have some disadvantages in this community but I hope that me and other corps members are able to show them that anything is possible, and the world is open to them.

I also found out that the school was invited to go on the trip that ended last year with the fatal bus crash. They had neighboring school friends go, but the students were unable to attend, and thank God. He literally protected them and their friends from tragedy. I can’t help but feel like I belong here. I on’t want tragedy and obstacles to be a relatable topic between me and my students, but if it allows them to build a relationship with me, and we build some trust then maybe that’s why I was put here for the summer.

I am teaching Algebra 1 over summer so I am off to brush up on it.

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