Milty Goes to Connecticut

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jun 17 2009


I had my end-of-year conversation with my program director, Courtney on Monday of last week. I made SOLID GAINS! It’s not quite the 80% holy-grail benchmark that I had set but HOLY COW! MY STUDENTS LEARNED SOMETHING!! My crazy, crazy students learned something.

And really, what I find impressive more than the numbers is:

Roberto, who had a 75 for the whole year. He asked me why he always got a 75, and I told him he did a C’s worth of work. He ended the year with a B+.

Jon, who had a D the first marking period and lacked any kind of will to try. On a paragraph on how a character in the story was like someone he knew in real life, he said, “Ms. Hill is like Ms. August [character from story] because she helps me.”

“Sally” who said, “Ms. Hill, I don’t hate you anymore.”

Our intervention teacher told me that “Debra” really likes my class. I told her, “I thought she hated, hated me?!” She responded, “Even when she’s having a terrible day, and she’s gotten kicked out of her other classes, when the bell rings for your class, she’s out the door.” I was floored.

Even though I won’t be back to HPHS Freshman Academy – more on that in a future post – I’m glad to know that I taught and they learned.

A mentor of mine down in Houston said, “Jesus only had twelve disciples; lead the ones who are following.”


One Response

  1. Oh, why didn’t I discover your TFA blog 11 months ago! (I didn’t even know that TFAers started to have their own blog sites until two weeks ago.) I like the way you write! Unabashed, pragmatic, and fun to read even if it was about your darkest teaching moment. For that I’ve stayed up way past my bed time to read all your entries since last summer.

    My favorite quote from your latest entry is, “I’m glad to know that I taught and they learned.” It is a great sense of accomplishment that money can’t buy! All through my four years of teaching, I always pondered if I had actually achieved that. The first two years I worked at the district drop-out prevention campus: I taught, but there was always the question of whether my students had actually learned; the next two years I worked in the only IB program south of San Antonio: the smart cookies learned, but I didn’t think I actually taught them much — they could have picked up the textbooks and taught themselves.

    Why aren’t you returning to HPHS Freshman Academy? I’ll be checking back here often to continue reading.

    Thanks for sharing your teaching stories, and best wishes!

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Charmingly (maybe) Existential (possible) Musings (read: rants) on My TFA Tenure

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