You Only Live Once

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jul 04 2011

3 day Weekends Are Great

I didn’t think three-day weekends could get much better than they were during high school and college.  Turns out I was wrong.  I’ve never valued the 72 hours off as much as I have this weekend.  It’s not about the three nights of relaxation and drinking although I definitely didn’t miss out on that.  It’s more about having 2 complete days where my mind was as far away from teaching as possible.  Not a single thought of lesson plans or worksheets crossed my mind until today.  I think it definitely helped that the 4th of July holiday fell during my last week of Institute rather than in the beginning.  As much as I would have loved an extra day off a few weeks ago, I  think having a regular weekend for the first 3 weeks made teaching and the lifestyle more real.  Knowing that I was able to make it through those first few weekends when it felt like like I was drowning definitely made me a stronger person.

Now I only have 4 days of summer school teaching left until I return to to New Orleans.  I have no “real” lessons to plan this weekend because my kids are taking their end of summer Math Assessment tomorrow and on Wednesday all the second grade classes are combining and are having a math “field day” in the afternoon.  Thursday and Friday I’m having my kids play some math games and then we are ending with our party.  I am a tad bit nervous for tomorrow and my kid’s assessments.  The reality of me being either a successful teacher or unsuccessful teacher rest in the hands of my kids.  More so in their abilities to actually read directions and the question before circling a letter.  As much as I’ve tried to instill the importance of reading all directions and questions there are still a few of them that choose not to do that.  Deep down I know that I have made an impact in my kids this summer regardless of their test results but it would really suck if they don’t meet their growth goal.

As much as I’m ready to be done with Institute and go back to New Orleans (which trust me I am MORE than ready) I will deeply miss my kids.  It saddens me that I will never see them again or most likely be able to keep in touch with them since they are only 8 years old and don’t have cell phones or e-mail addresses.  It worries me to think about where they will be in 5 and 10 years from now.  I guess this is the reality of being a teacher and I can’t imagine the love I’ll feel for my kids after spending an entire school year with them rather than just four weeks.  I’ll also miss my Collab members.  They are both in the Atlanta corps and although I know we will keep in touch and visit each other, it still is going to be very weird not seeing or talking to them everyday.  Heck, not seeing my one Collab member during this 3 day weekend has been weird.  I feel like it’s been weeks.  I know I’ll become close with my new co-workers in New Orleans, especially because there are a handful of us that are all new TFA teachers but it still won’t be the same.

But enough with my mopey attitude (I blame it on the rainy weather).  Only 4 days left in Atlanta then it is home to Chicago for a quick 36 hours to celebrate my brother’s high school graduation and see just about all of my closest friends then to New Orleans, my new home, to continue on this overwhelming, stressful, exciting, and fun journey I call teaching.

One Response

  1. Bob

    It’s unfortunate that your “success” as a teacher will be , in part, determined on your kids meeting a certain “%” on an exam. There are plenty of other things that you have done that will have a positive affect on these kids. You are right, they become your kids, too, whether they are 8 or 18. If they don’t, you’re in the wrong business.

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