Let's Go!

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Nov 02 2011

10 = 10.5

“Mr. Holberg, is 10 the same or different than 10.5?”

I had to pause…seriously? After a short pause, “what do you think?”


I have a lot of work to do.

This might be a semi-digestible pill if my student was in 4th grade. However the student that asked me was an 8th grader. I only have 7.5 months (which is the same as 7 in his world) left with them and I feel like I need an eternity…

On the note of eternity: each day feels like eternity. I hate to say it, but I am a babysitter first, then a teacher. I spend a substantial portion of each class telling/asking students to 1) sit down, 2) focus, 3) stop tapping, 4) stop talking while I am talking. The issues that topped the list, along with writing referrals, redirecting students, and monitoring their behavior seriously take 20-40% of a given class period. No wonder we touched on 40% of the material that I had planned on teaching during the first quarter.

The quarter ends this Friday. My phone is going to blow up. I am currently failing 38 out of 43 students and given their current position, maybe a couple more will pass after Friday’s test.

As I write this, I can look with warm and parent-ish feelings on the naive me from a couple of months ago. Did I really think that I would write only three referrals all year? Yes. Do I currently write, on average, three a day? Yes. Could I have imagined that my students were 1.75 years behind on average? Yes. Did I imagine that the same distribution of students would span roughly 13 grade levels from 2nd grade performance to “14.9″ (whatever that means)? No.

In closing, I am currently awestruck by the lack of urgency that my students feel (especially the 8th graders) even after I have told them where they stand and what we need to do to get there. I am also apathetic. So much so that I don’t really even want to describe in more details the bane of my existence: 12, 13, and 14 year old children draining every energetic ounce in my body on a daily basis.

Let’s Go! is currently Let’s Go? or even better…Let’s Go somewhere other than school everyday!

One Response

  1. Kurt (Community Manager)

    Congratulations! Your post has been featured on the Teach For Us homepage.

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