Caroline in the Delta

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Mar 06 2012

East coast callin’.

Yesterday teaching was impossible; today it was impossible to leave. I haven’t been well-planned this week. I keep telling myself I cannot be burned out because I feel like I’m never actually doing school work. My past three weekends were: Alicia visiting from NYC then taking me down to New Orleans; Alexis visiting from Michigan (and els from down the road!); Professional Saturday. Because of these, I haven’t sufficiently planned for my students in about a month. Not like they deserve.

The result has been one game-changing conversation about LGBT, one stack of papers ungraded, yesterday’s chaos. Today I had to make six parent calls home for behavior. In my defense (because usually that means bad management), I got my game back and didn’t stand for any ridiculousness. I caught most problems in the first ten minutes of class, which meant the majority of students were awesome and fairly productive today.

Problem is, my planning isn’t giving legitimate ends for their hard work. What am I doing?!

I’ll tell you. I’m getting my head stuck in the clouds, because while Achievement First decided not to hire me in New Haven, they did offer to fly me back out to Connecticut, this time to Bridgeport, to go through “Finalist Day” take two. My first recruiter was pretty enthused over the phone, when she passed me off to my new recruiter, apologizing all the while for the inconvenience. Excuse me? Another flight to the east coast is an inconvenience? It’s your recruitment budget that keeps dropping hundreds of dollars on showing me around an elementary school in a unfortunate neighborhood. I love this travel, love the exposure to excellent schools, love talking to principals about what they’re doing and why.

That leads me to spring break: east coast reppin’. After ten more teaching days, I’ll duck out of school 10 minutes early to rush to Little Rock. Board a plane to NYC. Two nights in NYC, one night in CT, two nights in NYC, two nights in Philly, two nights in NYC. Mixed in is my sample lesson version 2.0 with Achievement First, and, AND!

Francie Alexander, Vice President and Chief Academic Officer of Scholastic, is a woman I won an hour long conversation via telephone with as a result of responding to this contest on Teach For Us. It was a great conversation, that lead to some great resources for my classroom. It also lead to a Scholastic rep telling me that “having a connection to Francie is like knowing the Queen of England” at the NCTE conference in November.

Best, though, is that Francie and I are having lunch when I’m in the city.

Funny, because when I first entered the contest I did slightly out of spite, and without any consideration of the positive consequences of entering. Not even a little bit did I consider I could win, and begin to foster this amazing connection.

Thanks, Teach For Us. I don’t think I’ve ever said that, but this blog has lead to some amazing things.

One Response

  1. You’re not just TFAmous, you’re actually famous famous! Yay!

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