This is my first blog as a Teach for America Corps Member. I am still unemployed as I have not been hired by a school yet. I decided it was about time I start blogging.
So I have finished my training in Phoenix ("institute") I taught 5th grade summer school and that was really intense, but also very cool. I learned A TON and met really great people. Now I am in NOLA and it's weird b/c I'm waiting to get placed at a school. I am qualified to teach elementary school...however I haven't been hired by a school yet. After institute, I thought I would be jumping right into school as soon as I got to New Orleans. However, the way TFA works is that I get hired by them and basically guaranteed a job in the city where they place me, but I have to interview with individual schools and get hired on my own.
The schools are so unorganized and chaotic here that many of them don't even know how many teachers they need to hire until school has already started. Some parents don't register their students until the first day of school so there's a lot of uncertainty and confusion right now. Also, teachers who quit wait until the school has already started so that they can keep their healthcare and other benefits over the summer. In addition, the LEAP test scores, the test that all Louisiana students take at the end of each school year that determine if the student has mastered that grade and can go onto the next, barely came out last week. That means that some students just found out that they actually can't go onto 4th grade and are held back. For these and other reasons, the schools are pretty unsure about the amount and kind of teachers they need.
I am in the Recovery School District (RSD) and Charter School pool still. RSD started Thursday. So it is a very real possibility I'll be placed at a school after it already started and will just have to jump into it and ROCK it. I am just waiting to hear back from all the schools that have my resume at this point. There's nothing really to do except plan and get organized but I don't even know what grade I'm teaching. It's a weird feeling.
I have written my classroom management and investment plans so far. I am observing a classroom tomorrow to see what it likes and what does and doesn't work. I am also meeting with my Program Director (PD) Jillian tomorrow to talk about my interview strategies. Just in case I am contacted and have to be there that day. I am also writing lesson plans for the first week of school that include teaching procedures and doing team building activities. That's about it.
I'm sure my posts will be increasingly more exciting, but I had to start somewhere. My days are also going to drastically change. For example, today I woke up at 8 to pick Christina, my roomie, up from the airport, ate breakfast, took a 2 hour nap, cleaned my room, ate lunch, wrote a blog...now it's 4 in the afternoon. Phew! Institute was a complete opposite of this and I'm sure real teaching will be too! That is all for now.