Tuesday, June 21, 2011


I'm here, I'm here!  I'm alive!  It's been such a week that I haven't even had time to touch the blog, twitter, and I've missed everything on Facebook.  But y'all.  What an awesome week it's been.  Every day has been packed with amazing and I come home wanting to do cartwheels even if I did get up at 5am.  I think I'm exhausting PB because I call him on my lunch break, my drive time back to training, and after training is over and talk 90 miles an hour about every single thing we do.

The reason for the sheer fantasticness of this week is that I started my student teaching assignment!  I'm at a high school in south Charlotte, and I got placed in a sophomore English credit recovery class.  Basically, tenth grade English doesn't end with a standardized test, but kids definitely still don't pass, based on absences, not turning in work, and just not mastering the skills.

Initially, I really didn't think I wanted high schoolers.  High schoolers seemed too big and too scary and all I can think when I think of high school sometimes is attitude.  I feel bad that I was even apprehensive about it now, because I just love every one of their little faces.  Even if some of the faces are on 6'5" bodies.  PB actually said to me last night, "Meredith.  They're not baby ducks."  But I can't help it.  I think of them as my baby ducks.

I think also, when you talk about summer school, you get the "Oh, so it's the bad kids?" reaction.  My kids are so far from that!  Honestly, half of them are there because of some situation in their life that caused them to miss a lot of school, not because they're bad or stupid or not capable.  The others?  Maybe they just weren't motivated during the year for whatever reason to get the work done.  Maybe they didn't get the attention they needed in class, because I can tell that a lot of them do need extra help with the concepts and the writing skills.  But we absolutely don't have ridiculous discipline problems - really, I probably would have been more poorly behaved had you sent me to summer school.

What I found out on the first day though, is that we only have them for ten school days.  TEN DAYS.  To make up an entire high school English course?  Especially for some of the kids who really need some pushing and some remedial writing skills work?  But after the ten days, we get a whole new batch of kids.  And don't talk to me about it, because I'm already sad that this bunch will be leaving in ten days.  I know.  I'm pitiful.

I suppose the only good thing is that the ten days gives me a huge sense of urgency, like time is constantly ticking for these guys.  So you better believe that I'm flying around the room, desperately trying to make sure everyone is getting it.  And tomorrow, I'm going to lead teach the whole day!  And the next day!  I could just cut a flip.

I've already planned out the whole day - those kids are going to be up filling out thinking maps, discussing poetry, learning research strategies, and (my personal favorite) writing their own poems.  Today, they wrote poems about a place that's home to them, and I was just blown away.  Beautiful, thoughtful poems about where they came from, about feeling safe in their daddy's arms, about how no one should have to call their neighborhood home.  The delivery was almost more than I could take.  So needless to say, poetry writing is definitely getting featured in my lesson tomorrow.  Maybe it's more for my own entertainment.  But I can't wait.

I promise one day I'll write about something besides my "baby ducks," but right now I'm just too excited! Five in the morning comes early and I'm exhausted, but I also feel like this kid:

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