Teach Houston

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Oct 23 2013

the end of October is approaching…

…and with it, the lure of Thanksgiving and a respite from teacher life burns brighter. I’ve really been feeling October these past few days. not quite sure why. What set me over the edge tonight was an email full of action items and things that need to get done; of course, my progress on these action items will be evaluated by a surprise pop-in at any point during the next few weeks (the way so many things work in my life right now). Next week we are having huge district-wide tests and so the kids will be stressed/anxious/not feeling school in general. My evaluator will be talking to these students. This makes me a little nauseous.


Not a day goes by that I don’t marvel at how lucky I am to have this job. Yet at the same time, I am growing more and more tired of the constant pressure of evaluation and the ever raising-bar. I’m feeling just a little worn-down, I guess. I know the atmosphere of “you are never good enough, you could always be doing more” is pushing me far past anything I ever thought I could do. I can feel it doing that. Change is good, forward motion is good, but it’s still painful sometimes.

The TFA benefit dinner is tomorrow night. I’m hoping it’ll be re-invigorating or at the very least re-inspiring. I could use some of that right now.


My test review is Hunger Games themed. Last night I stayed at school til almost 6:45, painting a huge Hunger Games poster/scoreboard on the deck and watching the sun set. I talked with a student while her mom was in ESL class for almost an hour. She watched me paint and gave me tips on how to make the letters straighter. She told me about her life. I listened and nodded and made my letters straighter.

The sun sets slowly at my school, then all at once, til the sky has millions of colors and I feel so very alive.


Things that are buoying me:
1. I got a grant from First Book (a nonprofit) giving me FREE BOOKS for my students!
2. I got two more DonorsChoose projects funded.
3. A wonderful woman I went to school with donated some of her own personal books to my classroom.
4. My Hunger Games poster has straight letters.
5.  I will be seeing my family in less than a month.


God gives us burdens. Also shoulders.

One Response

  1. Victoria P.

    I totally want to see a picture of the Hunger Games poster!

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Journeys, challenges, & writings of a first-year teacher.

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