Ms. Allen's Classroom

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Dec 10 2012

TWBAT stay calm and not get frustrated

Through Teach for America (TFA), as well as the world of education, I have been introduced a ton of new acronyms that have become a common part of my everday vocabulary.  One of the most used and most important is SWBAT- students will be able to.  This is at the beginning of ever daily objective on my lesson plan and it is written on my whiteboard every day so that students, supposedly, know what their goal or purpose is in my class.  I refer to SWBAT about 50% of the time because the chaos of 7th and 8th graders entering my room usually takes up the “Introduction of New Material” (INM) part of my agenda.  But, in any case, it is always up…and for the most part, students know what it means.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a yeller.  Yes, I AM a crier, but definitely not…

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Dec 10 2012

Dear Students…

Dear Students, In the past four months you have more than tested my patience.  You have made me cry more days than I can count.  You have cursed me out, written profanity about me all over my room, threatened me and even hit me.  You have caused me to lay awake in the mornings contemplating…

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Dec 10 2012

Wait, Who is the Teacher Here?

After four months in the classroom, I think that I have learned more than my students.  There is a huge culture divide between myself and my students.  And while my job is to teach the kids reading a writing skills, I am often learning about their daily lives.  My students have also taught me a…

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Dec 10 2012

We Have Breaks for a Reason #sorryimnotsorry

Recently I went to a Teach for America professional development.  There was a very nice opening ‘ceremony’ where TFA corps members past and present as well as TFA staff gathered together.  While the first years were trudging in with our mid-October “glow” (more like rolling eyes, messy hair and exhausted body) there was still a…

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Dec 10 2012

“I’ve been bad for too many years.”

I am sure every teacher, no matter what or where or when, can attest that there’s always that one student.  The one that you just don’t jive with.  No matter how hard you may try, you just can’t find anything good about him.  (I say him because I also bet that it’s usually a boy…)  With this…

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Dec 10 2012

“If you miss, we will boo you.”

I learned during my students teaching at Norton High School that boys are obsessed with throwing paper balls into the trash can.  At any given moment during instruction  I would see something fly across the room out of the corner of my eye.  The only time it bothered me was when the students would miss…

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Myself and another teacher started a running club at my school.  This club is incredibly special because we have partnered with a New Orleans non-profit organization called Youth Run Nola (www.yrnola.org), an organization started by teachers to help empower low-income, NOLA youth through running.  This club and partnership have both proved to have incredibly positive…

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We all have a dialect or accent.  Being from Maine and spending a lot of time in the Boston area, I am used to being told I have an accent (I don’t).  Mainers (Mainahs) don’t say their Rs.  Southerners have a drawl.  Bostonians and New Yorkers have totally separate accents (although I think they sound…

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Dec 10 2012

Welcome to Room 306

So, it might make sense to start a blog about your classroom with a fun ‘First Day of School’ or with an inspirational anecdote about why teaching is my life’s work, right?  But I wanted to start this blog as an honest view of what my job is like teaching 7th and 8th at a…

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