May Your Roads Reach

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jan 15 2013

Department Meetings

The high school I am student teaching at has block scheduling and works on a semester schedule, so the students are taking finals this week.  Because Mr. T teaches AP Language and most students take the AP test, only one student was in yesterday to take a final.  His 12th grade classes took their finals on Friday.  That means yesterday and today were rather uneventful.  I got to spend a lot of time reading the textbook, looking through his old materials, and mapping out the semester.

Today, I did get to go to my very first department meeting, though.  Mr. T warned me that I should expect a lot of whining.  I didn’t understand what he meant until  it got going.  Based only on that meeting, I would assume the school is extraordinarily disorganized and about half of the teachers aren’t happy with their jobs.  Granted, I know that’s not an accurate assessment.  It is the end of the semester, so things are hectic, and the state’s standardized exams are tomorrow, so everyone is stressed.  The woman next to me kept muttering under her breath, though, and once or twice I heard a teacher use the word “thugs” to refer to students.  There were conversations about tracking, academic rigor (or lack thereof), scheduling, prerequisites, and more.

This is the world that I am entering.  I’m still excited about it, of course, but I hope I can inject a little more positivity and enthusiasm into it.

Tomorrow, given that it doesn’t snow, I will finally get to meet some students.  After the state exams are over, the rest of the grades come in and have a shortened schedule for the second half of the day.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that everything goes smoothly!

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