The Engaged Idealist

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jun 26 2014

Frist Day of School First Dday of School First Day of School

First Day of School, First Day of School, First Day of School

So this was the very first day of school. I thought I was exhausted last week, ha! This is absolutely insane. I was given a roster with 41 names, then it was reduced to 38. Only 24 showed up. That’s not very promising for the first day. My class is first in the day, and my co-lab members take over for the next two “periods.” The last period is almost an hour and a half. The other two are about an hour. This really is not nearly long enough to teach something effectively, especially in math, where you need to master one step to go onto the next. In four weeks, we don’t have enough time to cover much of anything, let alone go back to it. Our after class session is called AIT and it will supposedly help us catch people up if they start to fall behind.

I can already tell who is going to give us a difficult time. They are kids who I recognized right away the other students respond to. Since this is Algebra 1, we have a mixed bag of students. Some got to work right away and I could tell they needed a lot of help. They were struggling to even begin on simple arithmetic. Others were doing ok, but making careless mistakes, or skipping around so much I assumed they were just going to what they knew. Then there were a couple who refused to even try the test. They sat with heads down or just stared at me.

It was really hard to even get them motivated to begin. That was really hard for me to understand. I have never just not taken a test. It never even occurred to me that you could just refuse to take it. For TFA our personal grading apart from the school is based on how many kids met their summer goals. It is different for each kid. This is why I can’t tell if these kids will actually improve or not. I guess if they take the test later then their motivation and attitudes improved.

Its only the first day, Hopefully it all works out.

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