Making the Desert Bloom

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Aug 02 2012

Focusing on my Classroom

Institute allows a lot of time for reflection. Now that I am done with Institute, I find myself continuing on this reflection about this past summer. I never realized how all encompassing my classroom would become so quickly. Despite the fact that I was only teaching 9 students for on average 45 minutes per day, I became so focused on becoming the best teacher that I could be in the classroom. All of the background knowledge and information fell to the back of the picture. Of course, I still realized the vast differences between my students and I. However, all I wanted to do was to provide them with the best possible education for the summer.

At this point in my experiences, I thought that I would be far more worried about the larger picture of education reform and the surrounding issues. I am sure that I will get to that point eventually. However, right now, I am trying to focus like a laser on what I can do to make sure that I am the best teacher possible on August 20th when I start school. This process has begun by checking out the supplies in my classroom and seeing what else I need. At first, there are not even enough desks and chairs in my room. Issues like that can be fixed quite easily with the help of the school’s storage room. Other issues are far more complicated. While I don’t know my students yet, I am sure they will be coming to me on different levels with different needs. How can I meet all of their needs while setting high standards for every child? I am trying to read background materials, but nothing will substitute for real practice.

No doubt this process is going to take some work and experimentation. It’s part of the process of being a 1st year teacher. However, I strive to be more than the typical 1st year who constantly struggles and fails. I know that I will struggle and fail, but I want to get out of that pattern as soon as possible so my students can be successful. At the end of the day, I know that I partially control my students’ destiny during the transition year of 5th grade. That place an enormous responsibility and burden on my shoulders to be the best possible teacher from day 1. So any advise on how I become that person is greatly appreciated.

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