Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jun 18 2012

Last Night as “Erin”

“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others.  And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” -Dalai Lama

I took a break from writing my mini lesson plans to look at Amy Z.’s blog–one of my favorites!  She did not disappoint, as this quote at the top of the page perfectly summarizes exactly what I’ve been thinking about for the last two weeks.  Tomorrow, I’ll walk into room 401 of Greenville-Weston to teach English as Ms. Wendell, not Erin.  While that transition seems strange and fast in some ways, in other ways, it feels just right.  Although I had those crazy years from 7th grade until ~sophomore year of college when I wanted to be a lawyer (ha!), my first career aspiration came much earlier.  It was reading to my stuffed animals and teaching my little cousin fractions and dreaming of having a chalkboard and classroom all my own.  I have a whiteboard and real people now, but it’s here.  I’m a teacher.

With training wheels, that is!  Logistically, I’m on a team of three English teachers.  We each rotate being lead teachers and owning the entire lesson starting Wednesday.  My first day lead teaching will be Thursday, when I’ll teach about character motivation in Roald Dahl’s short story “Lamb to the Slaughter.”  Tomorrow, I’m teaching mini-lessons on our classroom theme and motto, vision and goals, and reward system.  I’m excited about the kids’ potential for “Growing as Scholars,” so I hope I can get them invested in it, too!  We’ll also be doing introductions, a Get to Know You activity, a student survey, and overviews of our class rules and consequences.  Big kudos to my teacher/counselor friends (Aunt Jo, Tonya, Lauren, and Katie) for their help with activity ideas!  The rest of class will be spent by students completing a diagnostic that will indicate whether they are reading on, above, or below grade level so that we may more accurately plan future lessons.

I’m hesitant to speak too soon, so knock on wood, but I’m feeling organized and energized.  I’ve been sticking to my self-imposed bed times to get as much sleep as possible, I’ve been balancing my work time and break time, and I’ve been (surprisingly!!) holding myself to one of my mantras for the next two years–procrastination is not an option.  Thanks for your support and encouragement.  It helps keep me in line and excited to continue in a healthy, productive manner so that I may hopefully help others.

I’m in bed right now like I should be, but my stomach is full of excited butterflies.  It’s the first day of school all over again!  My outfit is picked out, my book bag is packed, and my head is swimming with all of the things I want to remember and the impression I want to make.  It can’t be worse than preschool when I puked all over my teacher on the first day (crying so much because I didn’t want my mom to leave me), so here we go…

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