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Showing posts from June, 2016

A right to feel proud

In the beginning of my career I spent 3 years looping with the same students in the South Bronx.  I started with them in the 6th grade.  They were new and so was I.  I followed them into 7th and 8th grade science.  The term for this is looping.  Every mistake I made as a first year teacher looped with me.  Those were definitely the hardest years of my career.  But, by the end of those three years, I felt really invested in those kids and in their lives and futures.

At the beginning of my fourth year I started at a new school in Queens.  This time I was teaching 10th grade science.  We were a new school with few science teachers and I ended up looping with those kids too.  I had many of them through 11th grade chemistry and 12th grade environmental science. I planned their prom and senior trip and cried when they graduated.  I've stayed in touch with some of them and hear about many of them through the grapevine.

These students from both schools are now in their early to mid 20'…

The Best Laid Plans...

This is a tale of a project that didn't work quite the way I wanted.  For the last weeks of school I turned my classroom over to the students and allowed them to plan and teach the lessons.  It was kind of a mess.  So, I guess they did teach me something and maybe next year I can turn this failure of a project into a success.

The beginning of June came (as it thankfully always does). I had one unit left to teach and 140 7th graders to keep focused until June 28. I had a great idea.  Assign standards to the students, teach them about planning a class and let them teach the classes until the end of the year.  Perfect! They would learn the new material and practice talking in front of the class. I would sit with the class and participate in the lessons like any other student.  I gave them 3 days to plan in class and then we were off (well, sort of - June is full of PD days, meetings, days when the kids are not in school and a 3 day trip I planned).

As you may have guessed from the t…