Out of the Blue

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Aug 05 2010

Back in the Bay

Hanging out at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, home of the May Site Visit, of Induction, and now of Round Zero, it’s hard not to feel like this is a bit of a homecoming. I’m surrounded by the Bay 2010 CMs, most of whom I haven’t seen since Institute (which means since Friday, less than a week ago, but it feels like so much longer ago). The coffee is flowing, and the energy is up. We’ll start things up in half an hour or so, so I have a few minutes to blog.

This week has been… hectic. Sarah has been amazing at dealing with me, as I stress out and panic and flail and make grand statements about how nothing is going to work out ever. But things are going to work out, so I’m calming down, even if I’m not yet calm.

The first major thing on my mind this week has been housing. Right now I’m living with Sarah’s family in San Jose, which is a bit of a commute, given that my school is in San Francisco and my TFA trainings are in Foster City. I spent all morning Tuesday and all morning Wednesday apartment hunting, with mixed results. A lot of places are just… not what we want, at all. A few others I could see myself living in, but they’re definitely flawed. We have a temporary hold on one apartment, and have to decide by tomorrow afternoon whether we want it or not. It’s really nice in general, right by a beautiful County Park that looks like a forest. The reviews online are pretty negative, but I went to visit for a second time yesterday with Sarah and her dad, and came out feeling really good about it, after talking with the property manager, the security guard, and a bunch of current residents (who we found on our own, not picked out by the property manager or anything). Not sure if we’ll pick it, but it’s definitely the front runner right now.

The other thing on my mind, of course, is my classroom and job. I officially signed my contract with the district on Monday (after sitting through an excessively long New Teacher Orientation, made exciting only by my early morning adventures with public transit to get there), and got into my classroom for the first time Tuesday afternoon (after the day’s frantic apartment hunting). I had expected a bare, empty room, one that I would have to bust my budget to stock and make into a Real Classroom, but instead, I’m struggling with it having way TOO MUCH stuff. Everything from the last teacher is there, and it feels like a few other people left their entire classrooms as well. I’m still digging out surfaces and trying to understand what the plethora of things even are, which is an adventure. So many different class sets of different textbooks… I don’t even know which ones I’m supposed to be using! But I’ll figure it out next week, somehow. I have my classroom key now, which is happy, but I don’t have access into the school building itself, so I can only work on my room when my principal is there. Bummer, but that is how it is, so no use dwelling on it.

I learned a bit more about my class this week! My roster is a whopping 5 kids, and there’s talk of one of them being moved so that I only had 4. Woah! I don’t know what grades they’re in yet (the class is 3rd, 4th, and 5th), but two of them were here last year, so I’m hoping they’ll help me figure out what’s what. The room will definitely have three adults– myself and two paraprofessionals. They’ve both been there for multiple years, which is awesome– I can’t wait to meet them and start getting to pick their brains about what works best for this class!

2 Responses

  1. Ommie

    Wow. Progress on all fronts, however unsettling that may seem. I don’t know whether to be heartened or nervous about the ultra-small class size. Heartened, I think. Even if they add more kids later, it will have given you a great chance to get to know the original students first. Wahoo!

  2. Alice

    Just a reassuring thought: Rae and I ended up in a pretty crappy apartment for the first year, and you know what? It was a roof over our heads while we got to know the neighborhood and we got a more realistic idea of what we wanted (double paned windows please!), so that when the time came around the next summer, we had more energy to devote to a proper apartment search. The place we’re in now couldn’t be more amazing, and it was definitely worth waiting for. Don’t be too worried about ending up in a place that’s less than perfect.

    Also, you should come visit sometime. Because I know you and I both just have SO MUCH SPARE TIME. Not.

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Out of the Blue… and Into the Bay!

Bay Area
Elementary School
Special Education

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