closing the gap

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Sep 01 2008

School starts tomorrow

Orientation week went well. About 60 of the 100 9th graders attended. I graded the diagnostics and determined that about 7 of those 60 are at the 9th grade level in mathematics. This obviously indicates the huge leap my students have to make if they are going to close the achievement gap and perform as well as their high-income peers by June.

I got a bad cold during orientation week which was really frustrating. I missed the last day of orientation, and my first masters class at Lehman. Oh well..I am healthy now!

After orientation was over each day at noon, all the teachers at my school trekked to our area of the building and performed manual labor. =) My classroom was filled with items that didn’t belong to our school- computers, printers, textbooks, tables, desks, etc. We had to remove all of those items and then fill the classroom with our own stuff. On Saturday Lauren, the Math B teacher and the woman I share my classroom with, and George helped me set up and clean the room. Between the 3 of us we got it all set up in 3 hours! It looks great now. I really should take some pictures for you…

Today I spent my time doing last minute preparations for tomorrow. I made approximately 800 copies of things at staples: syllabi, parent letters (which my friend Joel translated into Spanish for me- shout out to him!!!!), student surveys, parent surveys, and job applications (for my classroom jobs haha). Also, I’ve created seating charts and power points for the rest of this week. I have a smart board in my classroom which is phenomenal- and in addition a brand new white board. Tomorrow the objectives are for the students to understand how my class will run (rules & procedures), believe that their brain can grow through hard work, and then a mini-objective on being able to explain the concept of a “variable”.
Overall I’m extremely excited and nervous. I’m going to have 100 students measuring and sizing me up to see how far they can push me…I have grad classes Tuesday and Wednesday night, but I promise I will post about my first few days as soon as possible.

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