My Journey In the Delta

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Sep 15 2011

Wait.. you mean everyday isn’t sunshine and lollypops?

There is was, staring me in the face.  Wednesday morning, no assistant teacher, no air conditioning, and a rainy day in the Delta.  This week started off really good, I feel so refreshed from my trip home and really good.. its week 6 we are almost done with the 1st 9 weeks.. which means we are a 1/4 done with the year!

But Wednesday was just miserable.  Hitting, kicking, laughing, talking, playing, and not much teaching happened in room 22 on Wednesday.  My students got to their math centers in the morning and acted like clowns.  Heads down.  I’d had it.  For 35 minutes my students sat in complete silence writing their number words on lined paper.

J, a very bright student in my class then stands up and says this:

“You all need to learn to act right.  Ms. B is the boss in this classroom and we are not.  She is the one that went to school, and we are just starting.  Do you see that big goal on the wall?  Raise your hand if you know what that says and what our big goal is this year?  (calls on student)  Yup! That is right to get to 1st grade, now in order to get to first grade you need to stop acting like clowns and need to figure out how to act right and listen to her when she speaks!  I know that we messed up Ms. B and were playing in our centers, but this just sitting here writing in complete silence, well, I’m sorry but it just sucks!”

I almost cried.  This little boy said everything that I was thinking of, and truthfully could run this place if my assistant teacher and I were ever out — I mean he is 5 on a 3rd grade reading level.  But it was just like a rainbow was put over this classroom.. except for the fact that most students just started to laugh at him and didn’t care.  And that is when they got silent lunch.

The afternoon didn’t get much better, so we repracticed and retaught procedures, because the 26 little kidertots in this classroom DO NOT run this place.. I do.. or at least I think I do.

After talking with roommates, and some third years.. I know that today will be better.. I’ve already had 3 little heads pop in today saying good morning — and I also received and email last night from one of my college professors with words of wisdom in it.. they are as follows:

Remember your first year is all about survival!

One Response

  1. CJK

    Six weeks is a classic time to “test” the system too. Do you REALLY mean it, are you really with them for the long haul….so the uproar is kind of an “extinction burst” of their less mature behavioar and heralds being able to do better and more. Your “bellwether” kid is showing everyone what is possible in terms of maturity…it is just some of those lambs won’t get there for long while yet. Hang in there,,you are making a difference..:)

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Trials and tribulations of teaching in the Delta

Mississippi Delta
Elementary School
Foreign Language

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