Posts tagged ‘teaching’

Back to work!

I was selected to be a part of the 2014 NYC Teaching Fellow program as well as the spring apprenticeship. I will begin on March 17th, in a Title I school, hopefully somewhere in the Bronx.  The spring apprenticeship goes for 10 weeks, where I will shadow a fellow chemistry teacher and then eventually teach in her/his classroom; I would imagine it is similar to student teaching.  In the summer, I have a 7 week training program, and then I will apply for full time teaching positions that begin in the fall.  The program has a 98% placement rate for chemistry fellows, so I am fairly confident I will land a position.

In the next couple of months, I have to take three certification exams, register for classes (the program will help me gain my Master’s in as little as two years, but more likely three years) and do a whole lot of prep work to get me in the classroom.  But one thing is for sure, this is what I wanted when I decided to go back and study chemistry.  I’m so excited to be back in the classroom, and I am even more excited to be a part of a program that helps the students who need it the most.

And although I am really ready to return to work, I am going to miss Declan a lot.  I have no doubt he will have a blast in daycare, and he probably won’t miss me any where near as much as I will miss him.  I think I will blink, and he’ll be packing for college.

Wish me luck!


School, Things to Ponder and Other Stuff…

Just a couple of things to ponder about Peru:

A) Today I noticed that the police were pulling people over, but not like they do in the states, where they follow you, flashing their lights and blasting their sirens, it was more like a DUI checkpoint.  Here they were huddled in a mass on the side of the road, blowing whistles at those cars they wanted to stop.  Now what’s to happen if you kept driving? And if nothing, why in the world would you actually stop?

B) There is a limit on the amount of money we can pull out of the ATM.  Ok, not unusual at all, but unexpected when trying to make several large-ish transactions in one day (like pay rent and bills, etc)

C) Today at lunch they served fried rice…with hot dogs.  Now you tell me, is that a healthy lunch? Would it make a difference if it was served with a side of lettuce topped with avocado, sprinkled with lime juice and an apple?

Some challenges regarding my job:

A) 6th and 7th grade are hard, yo.  Last year, both of these classes were still part of the primary school (as 5th and 6th graders). The primary school is quite different then the secondary school, and they follow the PYP system from the UK (if you remember, EuroAmericano is an IB school).  This year, they made the executive decision to move 6th grade to secondary, resembling a middle school or junior high school in the US.  Well this is all fine and dandy, except the students in these grades are not prepared for the transition, which is something I am hoping to help them with.

B) How do you motivate children/students/whomever who are used to being coddled by teachers, their parents? Many (dare I say, most) of these kids have nannies and/or housekeepers who take care of everything for them, from laundry to dishes to cleaning up after them.   How do I encourage these children to work on their own, and how do I get them to see the importance (and the need/desire) to do so?

C) How do I weed through the students who are testing me in the first couple of weeks and how do I see the students who really are struggling? Not only do I teach the “hard classes” (math and science), but also these kids are ESL.  So they have to learn these subjects in English—solely English.   I give them MAJOR props—could you imagine learning the atomic theory in 7th grade in your non-native language?

So I have received several questions regarding my schedule, and although it seems like a typical teaching schedule, I thought I would post it here for those unfamiliar with teaching schedules.  I have a mix of regular and block hours, which is nice (and although 45 minutes is barely enough time to get anything done, 1 hour and 30 minutes  seems to go on fo-eva).