Teach Houston

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Aug 25 2013

there’s beauty in routine (week 3)

As I get ready to dive into Week 3 I find myself comforted by the routinized procedures, not just of my classroom, but of the way my life works now. I spend all day on Sundays at school – making copies, doing long-term planning, or just hanging out with my fellow teachers. We have an amazing culture at my school (for both teachers and students). When I got covered in ink today trying to fix our feeble/ailing copy machine, there were always at least two other teachers, right there with me on the ground, trying to help me figure it out.

My classroom is pretty routinized by now. I gave the students surveys on Friday to see how things were going. They overwhelmingly said they like the procedures and sense of structure, and they liked having 12 minutes of independent reading time every class (who knew). They want class to be more fun and engaging. I’m right there with them on that. I went to a Professional Development on Saturday that was fantastic and modeled some awesome Interactive Read-Alouds and Small-Group Discussions. I’m going to integrate both of those in the next two weeks. For now, I just want to be someone who can effectively deliver rigorous, meaningful content. I’ll try to up the “fun” factor later.

My school has such a growth mindset. I love it. It’s so comforting to know that teachers can be made, they’re not just born with a gift or without one, to know that I get observed so many times because people care enough about me to give my feedback. I had a pretty bad observation last week (one of my worst lessons by far) and it’s just another reminder of how far I have left to go before I even begin to resemble a good teacher.

I still have zero work-life balance but thanks to my school’s flex scheduling (meant to help teachers have a life outside of school) on Monday and Thursday of this week, I get to leave school at 2:30! I’m thinking of training for the Austin Half-Marathon. As selfish as this sounds, I feel like I need to do one thing each day that’s solely for myself and no one else.


It struck me as I drove back from school today. And I’ve felt the same way every single day this week. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done and the best thing I’ve ever done; not a day goes by that I don’t feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude to get to do something I love, surrounded by people I love. I am so lucky.

One Response

  1. Ella

    are you serious? all day Saturday at (unpaid) professional development; all day Sundays at school making copies, planning…(also unpaid). And getting off at 2:30pm twice a week? After working a 50 plus hour work week? A joke. Someone needs to have a talk with you about boundaries and why you don’t have any. Being “observed” so many times isn’t generous, it’s micromanaging & stressful….you sound like an amazing teacher; your teaching environment is poison…get far away…teach someplace else.

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