Category Archives: instruction

Freedom Writers

So, I have to admit…when I went to Long Beach on Friday morning, I was skeptical. I didn’t know what to think. I’ve seen the Freedom Writers movie. I’ve read the Freedom Writers Diary. Both were touching. Both were almost too incredible to believe, but after teaching a few years in an urban setting (though my city is not a BIG city, it’s still a city and I’m at an “urban” school), I knew that those types of occurrences or situations can happen.

I never expected to be affected like I was. I cried, a lot. Some of it was in response to hearing from actual Freedom Writers. Some of it was in reaction to stories and situations that struck too close to home.

Erin Gruwell is THE MOST POSITIVE/UPBEAT person I’ve ever met in my life. My friend Susanna from high school is a close second. She is so committed to what the Freedom Writers Institute is doing and their methods. I want so badly to be able to have some of that positivity.

I wish that I would have written this post 2 weeks ago, or whenever it was that I just returned from CA. I feel as if I’ve forgotten so much. Plus…there’s only so much that I can say. As part of my training, there are many things that I have to keep confidential. But…I have more ideas on how to teach and how to reach my students.

Let’s hope the $25 I spent on notebooks (230 of them!) will pay off…I have a lot to do this week. (We start with kids on the 16th).



Filed under beginnings, books, expectations, instruction, planning, writing

Friday night, feels alright

At least Friday night isn’t for fighting (or whatever that old Elton John song says…).

My freshmen cheer girls had their first public exposure tonight — JV vs. Varsity football scrimmage. Overall, they were pretty good. The drama w/ some of them (I’m pissy; I’m pouty; I’m over-sensitive) is going to work my nerves, but…I’m determined to be positive and encouraging with them. I may have to pull a few girls aside. My big surprise came this evening when there was a girl who was there to cheer who I a) haven’t met yet b/c b) she hasn’t been at practices (that I’ve seen).

One thing on me — I need to take a more active role. It’s going to suck, timewise, but I think that in order to be a good coach, I mainly need to be PRESENT. And, I need to take charge.


Onto other business…the honeymoon period is over w/ my lunch block class. They’re naughty. Three of them already have detentions. Two of those are for tardies — DURING THE FIRST WEEK OF SCHOOL! I tell ya…some of these kids just don’t seem to get it. Or care. However, for all the kids who are naughty, I have others who make up for them. 🙂

I feel more confident in my teaching this year. I’m more confident in front of the class — sooner that is. Last year it felt like it took me awhile to get my feet under me. This year I feel better — particularly w/ my seniors (I have about half of them that I know from having them in classes last year — very nice). However, I still feel like I have a lot to learn, especially when it comes to instruction. I’m questioning myself hardcore about that this year — since our reading scores are so pitiful, I’d like to work to fix that. However, I was never trained/taught how to…maybe I need to see if there are some workshops I can go to. Not that I enjoy having to plan for a sub, but if it’ll help my students learn how to read better…I’m all for it.

I have another set of twins this year too. I had an identical pair of girls last year, in the same class. I finally just started referring to them by their last name. This year, it’s a boy and a girl and they’re in different classes. They don’t seem like they are nearly as close. I think brothers and sisters pairs just relate so differently to each other, compared to brothers and brothers or sisters and sisters. If I EVER went back to school to work on a comm degree, I’d study sibling communication. It’s so fascinating to me how siblings interact. I think they can be some of the MOST complex relationships in the world.

Oy, ok, I really do need to get home. I feel kinda lame for being still at school at 8:30 on a Friday night.

Hope you all have a good weekend!

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Filed under instruction, reading, siblings, students