Mississippi Queen

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Nov 07 2012

Is it Thanksgiving break yet?

Let’s be honest…I’m tired and it’s only November. We’re on the 2nd 9 weeks of teaching. Students are getting real comfortable, too comfortable in my classroom. I’m trying every classroom management trick in the book: signals to get quiet, behavior narrative, writing names on the board, sending students to the office, one-on-one conversations, moving seats, calling parents….EVERYTHING. Ok so maybe I haven’t tried everything but I’ve tried a lot. Another teacher blames it on my age. Saying that because I’m so young, these students don’t respect me as much as they respect the “grandmother” like figure of the other teachers. I think that’s a bunch of crap. What I know is this: my test scores are good but they could be better if I had better classroom management. And how can we prepare for classroom management? I’ve got no answers for you….only questions.

I have a question about the dedication of the student. Do they really want to learn? Or do they want to stare at their female counterparts butts all day? I’m sure they find butts more interesting than Edgar Allen Poe or Geoffrey Chaucer it’s my job to make English interesting enough for them to forget about their adolescent throughs for 90 minutes.

This was the first week that I feel physically tired more than two days of the week. And it’s only Wednesday. And it’s only November. And it’s only my first year. “What’s keeping me here?” is the common question I’m asked by friends and family. It’s not the AmeriCorps education award. Been there, done that. It’s not Jackson, Mississippi (ha!). Let’s be honest, it is not an individual student. While I can say the stereotypical TFA lingo of “I love my kids!” I am not staying with this gig for two years for any one student. It’s the overall impact that is keeping me in the game.

The Bulldog Beacon, the school’s newly reformed student newspaper, finally released the Fall Edition. Resources are short at the school so even though the principal requested a student newspaper, there was no funding or assistance in getting the paper actually printed. So I spent Saturday at the school printing and folding a black and white version of the paper. With the help of another teacher we were able to use legal size paper to make a magazine like edition. We’ve sold over 100 copies so far, hopefully allowing us to print in color next time. I want the students to be proud of their school and to have a place to celebrate their academic and sports achievements.

Next week in Thanksgiving break (thank God) and I’m heading back to the midwest for a much needed break. Current ways I’m coping with stress: Red Velvet Ice Cream, reading anything non school related, and ItsJudysLife. I’ll leave you with the front page of the handout I created for my class.

Until next time,


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"I'm going to Jackson…"

Mississippi Delta
High School

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