Caroline in the Delta

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jan 17 2012

List of currents.

Driving to Little Rock with Leaf today with extremely strong, delicious coffee and music I haven’t listened to since tenth grade, I felt good about the day. Like I would finish the unit plan and assessment I talked about three weeks ago. Like my heart was in the right place, like I had a lot to do but the three day weekend was on my side, helping me out.

Now, back returned from Little Rock near 11:30pm, my stomach hurts and I’m going to bed with a twinge of the sick feeling that dominated my life last year. For once, it has nothing to do with my students or tomorrow’s lesson plan. Those are fine. But those being fine means my picture has widened, my periphery has opened up, I am acknowledging that this picture will only get wider, and wider, and wider. I’m thinking that maybe typing out each obligation with a debrief will be a sufficient update, so, here goes:

  • Teaching a course at ProSat is something I never, ever expected I would do, and am doing. I’m teaching a writing instruction spring course. The first ProSat of the new semester is Saturday and, surprise!, I double-booked my life (as usual) and will be in Sacramento for my first class. This is awesome in that I’ll be in Sacramento. This is not awesome in that a) I’ll miss meeting all “my” CMs for the first time b) Someone else facilitates my plans (someone I love and trust, but still) c) I have to plan with incredible specificity because person from b clearly is not inside my head.
  • Going to Sacramento is on the agenda for Thursday of this week. That does not seem real at all except for the fact that I need to get my sub plan together and start feeling more confident. I’ve got a great balance of horrible sinking feeling and a spark of excitement welling up. Lovely because I already have the offer, so I’m not desperately trying to impress. Not lovely because I don’t have logistics solidified, I don’t know what to look for, I’m trying to get as many questions together as I can for the principal, and it’s a glimpse into a potential future life. That is terrifying.
  • Then Connecticut will be the following Wednesday, to teach a sample lesson at Achievement First. I will miss another day-and-a-half of school to get all the way up there, and am flying back at 3pm the same day I teach my sample lesson. This means that if I get an offer, I still won’t have an idea of the environment of Hartford outside of the school. This means I’m teaching half of Wednesday and again Friday. This means I don’t have the offer yet, and will be trying to impress them. And the sample lesson is reading, something I’ve never taught before. Stress there.
  • Though I love observations, I have my first legit formal eval with my principal scheduled for Thursday. Not sure if it will happen or not, but if it does that means I get observed and fly to Sacramento same-day. Kind of awesome to get everything out of the way, kind of a lot of paperwork that I’d rather not do.
  • Teaching in general freaks me out when I spend more than 24 hours away from it, so this three day weekend has wreaked havoc on my mentality– even more than Christmas break.
  • Tinier, but equally important, items include the Student Leadership Dinner number two point oh, for which I am to select another student to bring along with Dria, who I brought to the first. It’s coming up. Soon. We have a school leadership team meeting tomorrow. I have a conference call for my writing PLC (Professional Learning Community–TFA) tomorrow night. Wednesday after school I have a call with the Achievement First recruiter to hash out my sample lesson. MATCH is still in touch, moving me into a phone interview with the high school principal about a ninth grade position. If they like me, I’ll do a sample lesson in Boston.

So, here is my life, presented without creativity because I’m in a strange mood and tired. MLK Day should have roused me more than it did. I read two news articles and put up a mis-quoted quote of his on facebook, and an I -hope-accurate quote on my students’ homework.

There are many successes to write about, but they’ve been crowded out of my brain. Perhaps tomorrow will include the story of Deon.

No Responses Yet

    Post a comment