Ms. Allen's Classroom

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
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 lot about being patient and having unconditional love and respect.  They have taught me a lot about myself, thing that I didn’t know about myself for 23 years.  Damn, this teaching thing is hard.  But it has also shown me so much more about life.

No matter how difficult a given day is, though, it is always different and  I am constantly learning.  I never know what to expect, especially with my uncontrollable 7th and 8th graders.  And maybe I can’t get my kids to form a straight silent line, or my test scores aren’t where they need to be.  I know I don’t have classroom management and haven’t developed that “IT” factor yet.  My lesson plans may not be exactly aligned to the scope and sequence or the LEAP test.  I lose my cool and show too much emotion in front of the kids.  Hell, my handwriting is still a little messy on the white board.  But I have learned, oh how I have learned.

Here are a few things I know now, that I did not know on August 5th, 2012:

1. African-Americans and Caucasians do not have the same type of hair, therefore we do many different things with our hair.

2. Correct grammar is not taught in school (or at home) prior to 8th grade.

3. It is not a give that students will have a pencil at school.  It is also not a given that they will ask for a pencil at the beginning of class.

4. Cursing is ok.  Using the word God or Jesus in vain is not.

5. Hot cheetos are an appropriate breakfast food.

6. A kid will do ANYTHING, and I mean ANYTHING, when their lunch or recess is on the verge of being taken away.

7. When a 16 year old boy swings from the lights in m classroom, the lights are surprisingly durable.

8. When I wear earrings, they bring out my eyes.

9. Your things will get stolen if you leave them unattended. (i.e. phone, computer, pen, candy,  whiteboard marker, books, paper, change)

10. A warning does not stop a bad behavior.  Ever.

12. You may not know how to read, but you DO know every stat from the Saints game the day before.

13. If you are curious about a person’s personal life, just ask.

14. All white people look the same.

15. All white people must be from Maine, because Ms. Allen is white and she is from Maine.

Thank you Room 306.  Even on days that you learn nothing, I learn lots.

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Greater New Orleans
Middle School

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