The Sort-of-Scientific Method

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jan 13 2013

Chin Up

Day 80: Consistently, it seems, my Friday entries get written on Sunday. This is pretty logical, I guess. Other days, I finish teaching, get home, get to work, then write about my day. Fridays, however, I finish teaching, inefficiently shuffle around my classroom, give up, go to the bar, have a beer (or two), make my way home, and pass out.

The consequence of this is that Friday is always a bit hazy in my memory. I know the morning was damn near perfect. 6A and 6B came in, learned, took quizzes, and generally nailed them. 6D faced the rare double-block of new objectives – normally I make half of the double-block a quiz – and generally did fine. We all discovered 6D needs to review organelles, but given how chill and sweet they are, they still managed to stay on-task.

While all of this was going on, my Harvard sidekick for the month, Mr. A, pulled out 2-4 students in each class, giving them the extra review they desperately needed during this very tricky cells unit. I am impressed with his ability to jump in to help with students, and I am super grateful for both that support and the fact that he managed to grade all of my quizzes. I now have an idea of what it’s like to have to have two of me.

Oh, and of course, we had a little bit of drama. JT had begged me on Thursday to come to my room for lunch on Friday and play music on my laptop. She did, and was very happy until about 12:24, when I announced it was time to go. She then threw a fit and hid behind a door. This is the kind of nonsense I have limited patience for. I told her, bluntly, that this was not how to respect me when I gave up my lunch and my computer to let her listen to the OMG Girlz (yes, sadly, that is a real musical act). When I asked her what she was not showing me, she said, quietly and plaintively, “Respect.” When I asked her if she had anything else to tell me, she said, “I’m sorry.”

What’s the unifying theme of these stories? Well, at risk of sounding corny – which is a constant risk in my life – I feel way better than when I started writing. Back in September, when I committed myself to writing every day, I did so thinking the reflection would help me process and feel at peace with myself and my efforts. When I started writing, about 15 minutes ago, the sky was gray, I was tired, the litany of tasks I had to complete weighed on my mind, and I just wanted to get this done with.

Now … Well, I’m still tired, and I still have a lot to do. But looking back, I didn’t do a bad job on Friday. A lot went well. And as I close this out, I’m now wearing gym clothes, ready to get some endorphins working and my butt in gear.

It’s January. I’m supposed to feel tired. But if I’m doing myself favors – which, frankly, I deserve – then I’d be remiss not to think about all that went right, and all that will likely go right next week as well. So, chin up, son.

About this Blog

Experimental Procedures of a Second-Year Teacher

Greater Boston
Middle School

Subscribe to this blog (feed)