Charlotte's Web

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Aug 29 2010

A.P. (Absolutely Panicked)

Workdays started last week. The principal had us all wear college or pro teams jerseys to drive home the point that we are a team and must work as a team to succeed this year. I think I’m really going to like her as a leader. She seems very straightforward and far, but also very much on top of her game. And I got to meet most of the people in the English Department today. turns out Lucy, Kate and I aren’t the only new people in English. About half of the department has changed and everyone in English 1 is new, except for one person. He was really helpful today in getting us acquainted with the system and procedures. Everyone was really helpful. I think I’m going to like the people in the English Department. Not that I thought I wouldn’t like them, but you get what I mean.
I saw my classroom today. In my mind, I’ve had this vision of my room since January. Its perfectly clean, with freshly painted white walls and several bulletin boards around the room. There are filing cabinets, bookshelves and one of the really nice desks that my teachers had when I was in grammar school. Sometimes, there is even a smartboard (although I don’t really know how to work them). In my mind, I’m directly across the hall from my friend Kate and we’re in an entirely English wing of the building. This vision is not my reality.
In reality, my classroom is a mobile trailer set up outside of the main building. Kate got a pretty classroom inside the building and Lucy, the other TFA corps member teaching English 1, got the room directly across the hall from her. There is an English wing, kind of, but I’m not in it. In the real world, my classroom is painted three different colors–blue, pale green and bight, hurt your eyes bright, florescent yellow. The previous teacher hasn’t moved his/her things out yet, even though they were supposed to have done that by today. And I couldn’t find the person anywhere, so the boxes and piles are still sitting there. The filing cabinets are either locked or filled with this person’s things. There is one bulletin board and two small-ish white boards. If I remember correctly, I have a screen that pulls down and I think there is an overhead projector. I haven’t seen one of those since I was 12. I have a desk, but one of the legs is all bent out and quasi-broken. The desk is standing though, so I guess its all about the small victories.
Still, I’m certain that one this other persons things are gone and I have a chance to really start setting up, I’ll be able to make it into a great place. I’ve got ideas for posters and signs and a sense of how i want to arrange things. And maybe next semester I’ll paint one of those yellow walls a different color. And I’m not out there in the trailerhood all by my lonesome. At least one other English teacher is in the room next to me. She teaches English 2 and has been super nice and helpful. So i’m excited about that. And, being outside of the main building, there are less distractions from inside, with all of the drama and craziness that can happen in the hallways. Still, I kind of wish I was inside. I think i’m the only corps member who is outside in a trailer. I’m afraid I’ll be slightly disconnected from everyone. It just means I’m going to have to make an even greater effort to stay in the loop. Cause thats something I’m so great at doing to begin with (if you could hear my voice, you’d find it dripping with sarcasm).
I’m sure in the end, it will all work out. Like I’ve said before, I’m trying out this whole, go with the flow, roll with the punches, be flexible and open minded kind of attitude. Hopefully it works out for me.

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