Saturday, June 18, 2005

Off to New York

It's finally here. Tomorrow I leave for New York. I'm not sure if I am mentally prepared for the six weeks of madness that are about to begin. Monday begins "Induction" which lasts for one week in NYC. Then all 600 of us new corps members from NY get bussed to Philadelphia where we join other corps members from different regions for 5 weeks of training known as the "Summer Institue." For those who don't know, the summer institute is supposed to be--in a word--INTENSE. A day in the life of the institute consists of teaching summer school in the morning followed by workshops and seminars in the afternoon, then planning for the following day's teaching in the evening (and well into the night). From most accounts we should be expecting to get about 4-5 hours of sleep a night. Back in March I found Andrew's blog, where I got my first real description of just how intense the summer was going to be. I can't believe that now it's only a week away. What I didn't know is just how jam packed our Induction schedule was going to be. Yesterday I got a preliminary schedule in the mail and they have us busy from breakfast all the way through to dinner plans. Somehow in that week we are supposed to find housing for August first when we get back from Philadelphia. I'm not sure how that is going to get accomplished as it seems we are barely going to have time for bathroom breaks.

I did finish just about all the reading in preparation for the Institute (seven texts in all) which was no small feat considering I had just a month to do it in and I was working over 40 hours a week. I didn't do it exactly how they set it up for us (in the neat little exercises followed by classroom observations) but I did get it done. I only did 4 of 9 observations, but seeing as I got back from Italy just two weeks before the end of the school year, I think that I did pretty well. I was shocked when I was talking to one current corps member, whose classroom I observed, and she said "It's so good that you are doing these observations. When I got to Institute I met a lot of people who hadn't done any." I didn't think that was an option, but I'm glad that I got most of it completed.

Though I didn't do all nine observations, I think that I sort of had an alternative series of observations. I found that a lot of what I was reading in the seven TFA texts sounded quite familiar to me. Reading teacher blogs over the last few months has taught me a lot, I think.

So . . . tonight I take the red eye to NY! Wish me luck on the 6 weeks of madness that I am about to endure!

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