Tuesday, July 26, 2005

My Sentiments Exactly

"Don't come in and try to change the world. Come in and teach our children how to change the world."
-Dr. Jovanna Frye
Assistant Superintendent of Hollandale Schools
at Delta Administrators Panel MTC '05

My sentiments exactly!!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Reflections on Summer 1

As the first summer session comes to a close, I look back with relic, dismay and honor. I arrived at Ole Miss a bit nervous and a lot excited. I had no idea where this program or the summer would lead. I knew no one here, but the infamous BEN whom I had talked to on numerous occasions via telphone or Internet. I still remember that first morning trekking uphill to class (Yes, I walked at one time), stopping at the police station for a decal (only to realize I couldn't get one without an ID), and meeting the first person from MTC-Adryon. Walking into the building, I met Ben in person and wondered who was that little short girl (later to be known as Ginny). We entered the classroom and I looked around at the people who would soon become peers, collegues and friends.
As I look back now, I had no clue as to how this group of people would change my thoughts and actions in only 2 months time. I made friends and learned about different cultures and states. I even learned more about my own state Mississippi. I gained valuable experiences in the classroom and new ideas for activities with my students. I networked with people who may sometime in the future be great resources for me. I debated, hated and learned to respect people in the program whose views were very different from mine.
Most of all, I learned so much about myself. I realized that I was so extremely proud of my educational heritage that I would defend it at all costs. I concluded that being a statistic means defending and fending for those who I know can achieve even with their circumstances. I became exceedingly proud of my parents who had the forethought to give me every experience possible. I even relearned the value of friendship.
So at the end of this first summer of MS Teacher Corps, I reflect on what I will miss most. Houng telling us that we woke her up by being loud. Tiffany jumping up on Ginnys bed saying "What's up, girls". Reggie asking 4 million questions, all beginning with "So I know this doesn't have anything to do with what we are talking about but ..." Meredith teaching self-defense. Ben's announcements everyday. Ginny responding to Keila's story with "And that's what's up". Amy staying up till 3 in the morning working on lesson plans. And Miss Monroe giving out candy.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

TEAM self-evaluation

*The overhead was interactive and made the students have to pay attention during the lecture, but still write.
*By using the overhead, I didn't turn my back to the students.
*Lego activity was great synthesis level exericise.
*Good voice projection.
*Great movement around the room.
*Students understood the material.
*Handled Reggie well.

*The Lego activity needed more time.
*Through in the compound-complex sentence and through off some students.
*Tended to call on Aaron, because he knows most of the answers and volunteers a lot.
*Moved a little to fast during note-taking.
*Need a set of Legos for every student.
*Demenor still a bit intimidating.

All in all, I was extremely pleased with this leeson. Will definitely use this activity this year.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Why are we here?

At the town hall meeting on Friday, I was very disappointed to hear my cohorts speak of how they are here to reform education in Mississippi.
As a product of the Mississippi educational system, I know firsthand how far we need to go, but I have never been under the impression that I can single-handedly change the state, nor did I apply for this program under the assumption that the purpose of Mississippi Teacher Corps was to do so. I did however believe that the children that I while teach over the next several years will together reform the state's system by giving back to it.
This is not a service project for me. I don't plan to give to the community for 2 years and then go home feeling better about myself because I have contributed to some cause. I have decided to make teaching my career. I'm dedicated to doing my small part in educating the children of Mississippi and opening doors for them.
While listening to the animated discussion at the town hall meeting, I became sincerely disgusted. As I raised my hand to make my statement, I thought about the probable fury that would be unleashed at the comment. Yet, I said it anyway and I mean it.
Change is effected through future generations. To make a difference in the life of one child while cause that child to make a difference in another. By definition (and this is a non math person speaking) this means the number will exponentially increase each time. Each one teach one.
After my statement, I listened to the continued argument and became more and more disheartened. I felt the need to impress upon the class of 2005, that our job is to educate and thereby cause a natural reform. But how do I do this.
I wrestled with these thoughts all day Saturday. Sitting down at dinner, I looked at those people who had started the discussion the day before and became disheartened again. And then Governor William Winters began to speak.
He spoke of Shantwanna Buchanan and Walter Massey. Both of whom had said that they attributed their accomplishments to a teacher. At that moment, I knew I was not wrong. I had been right all along. My job is to be a teacher, not reform education in Mississippi.
Thank you Governor Winters for putting me at ease and for helping me to understand that I am in the right place, doing the right thing.