Louisiana Sunshine

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jul 18 2010

An Institute Deferred

My apologies for the long absence here –though in my heart of hearts I knew it would probably happen.

I ended up deferring my acceptance to the 2010 corps, so–much like last summer–I’m living Institute vicariously through all the TeachForUs blogs.  They make me excited for my own Institute experience, which is good because…

…right now I’m working as an advisor for low-income college students, which is great.  Love the college students.  But I also work out of the same office as a program that serves high school students, so I occasionally end up in a room full of high school kids.  And they’re SO restless and talkative and unfocused that just sitting near them makes me kind of tense and upset.

I spent an hour or two on Friday in an admittedly hot and stuffy auditorium with many, many high school students.  And I totally understand why they were restless, b/c it *was* super super hot and frankly most of the various speakers weren’t all *that* enthralling.   But.  Of the maybe 20 kids sitting in the two rows in front of me, at least ten got up to go to the bathroom at some point in the last half hour of the talk.  (It felt like 25, but probably none of them really went twice, so I’m gonna say ten.  Maybe fifteen.)  This was going on all over the auditorium, of course, and there was also a highly persistent murmur of conversation, plus just a lot of shifting and moving and fussing.  If I had found the whole thing just annoying, I wouldn’t worry about it, but it wasn’t annoying–it was anxiety-provoking.  The longer I was there, next to the restlessness, the more stressed I felt.  This even though (or maybe because?) I was not in any way responsible for monitoring or correcting any one’s behavior.

Anyway, all that makes me wonder if I haven’t committed to two years of something I’m *really* unsuited for.  Maybe it would have been better if they were “my” kids–but what if it’s not?  Plus right now I’m assigned to elementary education — a population that even less likely to be able to sit still than this group was.

So while I’m struggling with all that, it helps to read blogs from people who are having really good (read: worthwhile) Institute experiences–not to mention all the posts from first- and second-year teachers who are feeling really jazzed for next year.  Thanks for posting, everyone–and keep ‘em coming!

2 Responses

  1. You are right about elementary kids being restless. It’s a good thing to think about in advance and prepare to address. The difference is that you are going to be the leader of your classroom. You will set the tone with your expectations. Developmentally there will be little you can do about attention spans, but you can make lessons more interactive to keep attention. Most elementary kids aren’t too concerned with being “cool” they love their teacher and love to help. It will be fine, don’t stress out. Enjoy your year-long derferrment!

  2. loulou

    Aw, thanks for the encouragement. It’s good advice, which I’ll try to take. :) I’m going to work really hard on not worrying about stuff that is currently out of my hands.

Post a comment

About this Blog

a Teach For America teacher's blog

South Louisiana
Middle School

Subscribe to this blog (feed)