I am so sorry to not have updated in such a long time, once again.
Teaching has been going super well. According to my supervisors, I’ve completely turned my classroom around in the past week since I sat down and came up with ways to improve what was going on. I still have to work on developing a way to make it so that I’m not always the one talking, but I feel that even my talking right now is more of a conversation than a lecture, and my supervisors have flooded me with really good resources that will help me move towards a more participatory classroom. I am very happy with how things are developing in my classroom, and I have grown to love these kids so much. I wish I had more time with them, but I feel like giving them a special teacher email address that they can contact me with will be all I can give them once I am done teaching them on Thursday. One of my students already has my cell phone number, which she used the other day to call me and tell me she had been suspended. Thankfully, she will be coming back to class on Monday, but it felt really nice that she called me to let me know, that she felt that I cared whether she’d be in class the next day, and I made every effort to let her know that I was here for her no matter what. I got to connect with other students of mine at “Summer Jam,” which was a session that we put on at Rice University where we provided bus transportation for kids from Dowling and other schools across Houston to take a campus tour and learn more about college. A lot of the advice was not to my liking (like encouraging kids to work for the FBI!), but I think I would have been extremely excited about a college visit in junior high regardless of what propaganda I was being fed. I got to spend some non-classroom time with two of my students, and I showed one a video of “parkour” being performed at the University of Chicago, which is a form of extreme sport that he is really into. It made him happy, and I was glad to throw another shameless plug for my alma mater and college in general while not being cheesy about it. I’ve made very good friends here, both with those who I’ll be seeing in Dallas-Fort Worth, and those I might not be seeing once Institute is over, who will be going out into places like Eastern North Carolina, the Rio Grande Valley, San Antonio, or staying here in Houston. I was even voted Prom Queen by the corps members at Dowling! It’s a long story, but I’ve really just stopped worrying so much about everyone here being so much different from me, and have stuck with doing my own thing, and others seem to think that’s okay, which is good. Quite the change from how I was feeling a few weeks ago, and I really appreciate the encouragement that everyone gave me while I was down in the dumps and helped me get back on my feet and make Institute work for me.
In other news, I had the best weekend I have had in a long, long time. I feel happy, refreshed and ready to finish off the final week of Institute on a high note.
I’ll try to be more frequent in blogging my last week of Institute, and I look forward to blogging about the big move to Dallas soon! Also, I don’t know why I had commenting disabled, but it is now enabled if you’d prefer to comment directly on the post.