Teaching in Kansas City, one day at a time.

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Sep 25 2013

Exhaustion

So, clearly I haven’t been blogging. Why you ask? I’ve been trying to wrap my head around this teaching thing.

TFA institute sucked, but it was a joke compared to really teaching, which I anticipated. My school is, well, unsupportive to say the least.  Teach for America is a bunch of different things and my experience so far has been multifaceted.

I am a second grade teacher in Kansas City, in one of the lowest performing schools in the district. Whether I am helping or hurting the situation has definitely crossed my mind several times. How do I know if I am closing or widening the gap? I have about 5 kids that are behavior meltdowns waiting to happen. Generally, I don’t blame the kids for their melt downs though; they are seven. Their meltdowns are in large part a product of my inability to be an effective classroom manager. It bothers me when people blame the kids, which I frequently hear in my school.

The administration is, well, learning. Our staff is 50% new and our building is often very  disjointed and disconnected, which is unfortunate because I could really afford to learn from the wealth of knowledge that exists in that school. I’ve found some veteran teachers I like and have asked for their guidance. Being a first year teacher is hard, and I am certain that they know that and frankly, I want as much help as I can get. I need it.

Kids are standing on desks, throwing chairs, throwing math manipulatives, running around, choking one another, yelling. The lack of help makes the situation abysmal.  I’m tired. Exhausted. I want to quit daily. But I love my kids. Frankly, when it comes down to my mental sanity or consistency for my students, I’ve been choosing consistency for my students, but I have to ensure I don’t burn out. That’s what my MTLD (manager of teacher leadership and development) keeps telling me, and I know she’s right. I have a Real Time Coach scheduled to help me in my room next week. She will sit in the back and have me on an earpiece for 30 minutes a session 2x a week. I hope it helps. Ms. D, the fourth grade teacher keeps my faith alive. She reminds me of why I’m there daily, and helps me pull it together when I feel like I just can’t go in and face my lovable, crazy, aggravating monstrous angels. Mrs. P, the third grade teacher is also an amazing support. I am so grateful for them. It’s only been 32 days. I don’t know how that’s possible. 148 to go…

Okay, I need to lesson plan, and sleep, some time, ever. I miss sleep. I don’t know the last time I had more than 7 hours.

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Teaching for the first time… praying we all get out alive


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