Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Goodbye Region 5

Well, it is official. Next year I will be moving to a K-5 school in Williamsburg. I will miss some of the teachers and students at my school. I most definitely WILL NOT regret leaving Region 5.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

I can't believe this

Last night I was riding the R train back to Brooklyn after a night out. I was minding my own business listening to my ipod when the train stopped at Atlantic. A cop came in and asked me to step out side the train. He asked me if I knew why he asked me to get off and I of course said "No." Apparently he noticed that I had a foot on the seat in front of me. (Another cop had asked another passenger in the same car to get off for the same reason.) After taking a few minutes to show us where in the rule pamphlet it says that it is a violation to put your feet on the seat, he proceeded to write me a ticket! For $50!

I didn't even know you could get a ticket on the subway! And to think of all of the 'violations' I see on the subway every day, *I* get a ticket for putting my foot on the seat at 4am when all I really want to do is get home to my bed.

So, do you have any advice for getting out of a ticket like this? Will showing up at the hearing help? What would happen to me (and my out of state license) if I just don't pay?

And seriously, were those cops just BORED last night?

UPDATE: I also wrote to Gothamist with the same post. Click here to see what Gothamist readers had to say.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Interview #2

So it turned out that my interview was for some sort of self-contained class. They didn't actually say until at the end of the interview (when I finally got the chance to ask a question) and I was told that they didn't know what they would have available until later. I mentioned that I had been told something about K, 4, or 5 and the Principal said that it could be one of those but, again, she didn't know.

I didn't like the feel of this interview as much as the first one. There were about five people interviewing me and they took turns asking me questions off of a typed list that they had. All of the questions related to ESL strategies or how I would handle disruptive students etc. They hardly asked me anything about my previous experiences, though I did talk about my teaching last year. Initially they hadn't realized that I just completed my first year teaching (they thought that I was a new corps member still in training).

So, I wish that this situation seemed to be working out. The school is close to my apartment. They have a large ESL population and I would definitely have a self-contained class as they don't have a pull out program. Also, there is the possibility that i could get kindergarten and that is what I really want to teach. I don't know if it is going to work out though. I don't think that I can pass up this other position because what if they don't end up having a position for me? I talked with my program director and he thinks that I should take the position that is certain. (It is a definite improvement from my previous school.) I will probably talk with the placement director and then make a decision very soon.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Interview #1

After going through today's interview I was suprisingly more excited for the position than I thought I was going to be.

The position is for pull-out ESL. I was told that I may occasionally do push-in but probably wouldn't be part of my regular schedule. I would have about 50 kids in grades K-5. The best part is that I would have a HUGE room all to myself! No more sharing with coaches. The room has a carpet, library, huge windows, lots of cabinets, and even computers! I could do so much with that space!

The principal seemed really nice and a lot more knowledgeable about ESL than my previous administration. She seemed happy that I already know the ins and outs of all of the paperwork involved with ESL and reports that have to be written yearly. I get the impression that she would probably be a little more involved in what I am doing than my previous principal but that isn't really hard considering my last principal came in my room a total of two times the entire year.

The neighborhood is sooo much nicer than the one that I am currently in. It suprised me. I am used to my school situated amidst the projects in Brownsville. The school building was nice from the outside but noticeable older than my current school on the inside.

Overall, I think that I would be happy to make the switch if this is the school that I end up at. I would still have the same type of program that I have now but with more kids and less grade levels. I like that because I can focus on planning for fewer grade levels and have more students to work with. I love that I would have my own room. The principal seems to be nice. The commute is probably about the same (only I won't have to switch trains anymore).

The only thing that I didn't like was that the principal wanted to warn me that I may be pulled at times to do coverages. She said she interviewed someone else who said they ONLY wanted to teach ESL and wouldn't do coverages. While I know that this is always a possibility, the way she warned me about it made me feel that it could be excessive. I was told at the beginning of last year to keep a log of all of the times that I was pulled for coverages and to report it to my regional ESL supervisor if it became "excessive." As it turned out I was only asked to do a coverage once and that was before I'd even started pulling my kids. (I swear I was invisible at my school last year!) The principal did say that she didn't believe that one program was more important than another (AIS, Speech, ESL, etc.) so she tries to assign coverages evenly. I guess that was a little reassuring.

I am excited but still curious about tomorrow's interview.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Well, I finally have an update on the changing school situation. I have two interviews scheduled for this week. The first one is tomorrow morning. The school is in South Williamsburg. I'd still be doing pull-out/push-in but I'd have 45-60 students spanning grades K-5 (as opposed to the 13 students spanning grades K-8 that I have now). I think that the school has just about 450 students and it shares a building with a charter school. That's pretty much all I know about the school.

The second school is on Thursday and is a little more exciting. It's only three subway stops away from me (that's a bonus!) in Sunset Park. I was told by the placement director that I would have grades K, 4, and 5. That seemed a bit odd but I just assumed that another ESL teacher had grades 1-3. Then she told me that I would have a self-contained class. I said "Wait. I don't get it. How can those grades be one class?" She said that she didn't understand either but that I would have to ask at the interview. I'm thinking that maybe she misheard and I would have either K or 4/5. Or maybe somehow I would be working with two classes. I'm not sure but I am thrilled at the possibility of getting my own class. Also, I looked on the school's website and they have both self-contained and dual language classes! Very exciting. My placement director told me that the principal "doesn't believe in push-in/pull-out." Yeah! I don't either. On the school report card I also found the "Principal's Statement."
We are committed to providing opportunities for students to meet and exceed academicstandards and for our members to flourish as a community of learners. We will provide a strong comprehensive literacy program in collaboration with Teachers College, where reading and writing workshop takes place daily. We support our English Language Learners in their native language as well as in English through our Dual Language and Self-contained ESL programs. We continue to implement Math investigations (TERC) program in order to develop critical thinking, problem solving and decision making.

Right there that is more aknowledgement to ELLS than in my current school. Of course at this school 38% of the students are ELLs. I am very excited to learn more about this school.

I'm lucky too because I will have my pick of both schools (assumming I get both jobs). Most TFAers don't have that option.

My program director called my principal today and told her that I would not be returning next year. So, now it is official. It's just a matter of where I end up.