Ms.D in the Delta

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jun 23 2012

The Children Are Here

The first week of teaching has come to an end. The days are long, but I’ve loved every minute spent with the kids. The entering summer school classrooms are tiny, only 5 students per class. Somehow, I still manage to occasionally mix up names. But we’ve been able to get to know all 5 pretty well over the past week.

A: A is the smallest child in the entire school. He loves to show off how smart he is and he loves to learn. He pays attention 100% of the time and is always the first one to have an answer to a question. When we’re doing problems he often says “This is easy Ms. D, look how I can do this.”

O: O is our class clown. ┬áHe’s smart, but if he starts to get bored he’ll give the wrong answer to the question just to see what happens. And he’s always┬ámoving. Hands, feet, head, body something is always twitching, reaching, stretching, waving, thumping. In the mornings he wants to know when it’s time to go home, but by the afternoon he wants to stay at school all day. Yesterday he asked if we could have 3 lessons or 100 lessons instead of just 2 afternoon lessons. He also occasionally, and randomly, praises jesus in the middle of class.

J: J wants be able to tell his granny he “did good” in school today. He asks every afternoon if he can tell her that. He also desperately wants to be able to read. He tries to sound out every word he sees and he spells his colors instead of saying the name. When we read “The Little Engine That Could” as a class, he was whisper reading the words right along with the teacher. He’s very quiet, but slowly starting to come out of his shell as he gets to know the teachers and his classmates.

J2: J2 would like to be called Peter Parker. We convinced him that his secret identity as spiderman would be far better protected by continuing to call him J. He’s always the first one at school. He loves math and being able to play with all the other manipulatives. He brought his teachers flowers yesterday morning. It. Was. So. Cute.

S: S is shy and soft spoken. She doesn’t have a great deal of confidence in her ability to learn, and has internalized the idea that she is stupid by the age of 6. We’re doing our best to start and turn that view of self around. She’s been very successful in the classroom the past 3 days and we’re starting to see more smiles, more attention to the lesson, and more participation. She does take a little bit longer than the others in the class to understand the lesson and she learns best when she has a lot of one-on-one attention. I would love to be able to work out some tutoring time for her after school.


So this is my class, small but wildly different in terms of skill level and personality. Regardless, they’re all great kids and I hope we’re able to help them master a lot of new skills and concepts so that they are better prepared to succeed in school in the fall.


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