Blue Suede Shoes

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
May 29 2011

The Third Time’s a Charm…

Here I am, back at institute for the third summer in a row. I really enjoyed both of my previous institute experiences of being an operations coordinator, which solidified my intent to apply for and join the corps, and a first-year corps member, which solidified my intent never to come to institute again (see how well that worked out?), and I’m looking forward to a new role this year as a school operations manager. (For anyone who is wondering, last year at institute, I told myself I could not return because the whole experience was just even more intense than it had been the year before – for obvious reasons – and despite being one of the minority who love institute, I wanted to take a break from it. Then, December came around, and I started realizing I wasn’t terrible at teaching, and the staff applications came out, and the rest is history.)

I’m incredibly excited for this role in particular, as I will be at school sites, so I will get to interact with students, corps members, and CMAs, but I will also only be responsible for logistical things and not actual evaluation of CMs (thank goodness!). While talking with my school director tonight, I got more and more ideas for our school’s systems and overall look, and my eagerness to jump into this work just kept building. I think this will be a great learning experience for me, but I also want to make this as satisfying and memorable (in a good way) an experience for the CMs at my school as it was for me last year.

Let’s challenge each other to be better! Let’s celebrate success! Let’s be Young and relentless!

Sidenote: My end-of-year conversation with my program director was awesome, and I am so glad that I have this level of support from Teach For America. I made significant gains with my algebra students (though proficiency was still maddeningly low), but only limited gains with my geometry students, which is partly a reflection of the level of planning and execution I did for each prep. I am disappointed in myself that I let geometry become less of a priority as the year went on and the algebra end-of-course test crept closer. But now I know what I need to change for next year, and I am hopeful that allĀ my students next year will improve dramatically in their levels of achievement.

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