Mirrors into Windows

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Oct 02 2011

“I Want To Be Good”

The title of this post comes straight from the mouth of one of my most troubled and troublesome kindergarteners.

“What’s that, you say, loyal reader?” (I know there’s only about one of you!) “Weren’t you just switched to third grade, Miss O?”

Why yes.

And now I’ve switched again.

As I take a break from prepping for my 8th day of kindergarten, in the seventh week of school, in my third classroom and with my third set of kids this year, I can only sympathize with P-. I, too, want to be good. And right now, I’m not. It’s frustrating, maddening, to feel like my best is still a disservice to my kids.

My 22 five- and six-year-olds, including the sibling of one of my former 5th graders, have already kidnapped my heart. They’re cute and energetic and curious and playful, they’re easily excited about what we’re learning, they’re loving and give me hugs randomly in the middle of the day. But they’re also so far behind. I have a handful who barely communicate, and about a third can write their names in a recognizable way. It’s week 7 and they’ve had a substitute for most of their schooling so far. While kids in some neighborhoods come in to kindergarten knowing how to read, I’m pretty sure that some of mine have come in never having held a book or been read to.

I’m trying to stay focused and positive, trying to read up on early elementary strategies and familiarize myself with the curriculum. I’m trying to decorate the classroom the way a kindergarten classroom should be and put into place the structures and procedures that we need to get through the day. All of this should have happened before the school year even started, but, here I am, playing catch up… again.

I could go on and on about the kids, the crazy days… but I’ll save that for the next post. Who knows what I’ll be teaching by then!

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    Just another Teach For Us site

    Region
    Miami-Dade
    Grade
    Elementary School
    Subject
    Elementary Education

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