The Sort-of-Scientific Method

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
May 25 2013

Win Some, Lose Some, Get Some Rest

Day 160: Thursday’s Theme: Win some, lose some, then try to get some rest.

The sixth grade was presenting plays on Greek myths at various points throughout the morning. This means I got my third period class intermittently over a period of 10 minutes while I was trying to start class, and teach a really tricky objective – how to trace changes through an ecosystem on a food web. Moreover, a handful of girls wanted to go back downstairs to help with the plays that were still going on. I offered that they could go when they finished their class work and quiz, but they weren’t remotely focused – likely due to their own post-play adrenaline. We got through the lesson and a quiz, but it was messy, and I am relatively confident few students got that last objective. Oops.

On the other hand, right as fourth period was ending, I got a visitor, a woman who had provided our school with professional development the year before and who had visited my classroom second period. We’d been learning about food webs, which meant we were throwing a ball of yarn around the room to simulate a web. In my mind, it went well enough – well-managed yet enjoyable, with kids understanding the point. This woman, however, was raving. She gave me a 9 out of 10, and said my ability and growth as a second-year teacher was “un-founded.” I don’t always feel that way, but at the conclusion of the aforementioned messy period 3, I was happy to take it.

Thursdays are exhausting. After those first four periods I spent lunch prepping for the afternoon, taught three more classes, then ran student council, and finally had a parent conference. I returned home around 6:30 and promised myself a short nap to recover. Unfortunately – or fortunately, depending on how you look at it – I slept through my alarm and woke up at 1 am. I had a bite to eat and tried to work for a few minutes, but ultimately gave up, went back to bed, and set my alarm for early in the morning to finish planning. Methinks my body was trying to tell me something.

Like I said, theme of the day: win some, lose some, then try to get some rest. My body is starting to scream for a recovery. My brain feels like oatmeal most evenings. But I’ll still strive for the wins, and do my best to shrug off the losses.

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Experimental Procedures of a Second-Year Teacher

Greater Boston
Middle School

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