Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jun 30 2009

Administrative Feedback

My department chair came to class to observe this week for my formal write up that goes in my permanent record. She was really impressed that I had the kids homework memorized and knew which mistakes they’d made and how to fix them. She was also impressed with my use of technology and the time and energy I put into finding cool things on the internet.
She was not as impressed with the level of student involvement in the class-they were not as actively learning as she would have liked.
Which is fair, for sure. I like kids more actively learning too. It’s a better thing. I sit in other people’s classrooms and I feel like the same criticisms could be said of most of us. She was also upset that someone left a minute early without being dismissed and that Maggie Hargus didn’t know how to use a graphing Calculator.
She’s done all of the assignments by hand this year and I frankly never realized that she couldn’t use the calculator. My chair seemed really upset by this but I wasn’t too concerned. She’s in 8th grade, I taught her today once we figured out it was a problem and the issue is resolved. This is the first class that students have had to get a calculator anyways.

I continually observe my life, as if from the outside to try to decide if I want to keep teaching. I sit at assemblies watching students run around and think about the environment of a high school and if it’s where I want to be. In some ways it’s great. Students are innocent and full of ideals. They are curious and unjaded. They have feelings and dreams and desires and the whole world is in front of them. My colleagues are really intelligent and full of ideas about the world.
I loved high school in some ways and hated it in others. I still don’t feel like I belong in education. I’ve been helping my boyfriend plan a business to help pay off student loans while we wait for jobs to open up in architecture. I like the goals of making money and creating plans. I like analyzing the market and thinking of ideas to best harness it.
I like anything that involves analysis. How can I assign work to self-differentiate instruction? How can I best design a classroom? How can I track progress and minimize my workload? How can I best create a schedule?
I wonder if college is the place for me to be or if it is out in the business world. I’ve considered becoming a consultant- I wouldn’t mind knowing so much about a topic that I was hired as an expert. But students are cool. Kids are cool.
I love the creative parts of my job. The lesson planning. The learning and sharing about the world.
All of those things are fantastic.
I wonder if I’ll get a good evaluation. I have my contract for next year so in some ways I’ve relaxed a bit. At times I think teaching Calculus for years would be great. The life is so good. There is so much free time for my energy to flow into. I have time to start businesses and race and read and learn. But I worry that I judge the job by the free time.

Hm… I’ll keep pondering the future.

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    Learning more about life than math…

    Las Vegas Valley
    High School

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