A small town girl takes on the world

Saturday, February 13, 2010

the Knowles Teaching Fellowship

I applied for this fellowship awhile ago, and recently (read: ten minutes ago) received an email letting me know that I have made it to the in-person interview portion of the selection process. There were about 200 applications, and 72 people have made it to this stage. Approximately half of these will actually receive the award, but that includes three subject areas (math, physical science, and biological science). So, my actually number of "competitors" is smaller (about 23 or so).

I am super excited about this - not only is it an exciting weekend in Philadelphia, meeting people and having the potential of receiving a great fellowship at the end - it is also a really great acknowledgment of my accomplishments s
o far. This is definitely something I needed right now!

I am feeling good! :)

Here's a screen shot of the email I got (hope you can see it!):

Friday, February 12, 2010

My Recent Life in a Paragraph

Life is a funny thing. About two weeks ago (three weeks ago? not sure...) I got hit with a terrible stomach flu bug, couldn't make it out of my car, but ended up on the side of a busy street in Seattle throwing up and crying. This was Friday night. I got some pretty bad news the following day, and my life has been on mend ever since.

That weekend really threw off my teaching for awhile, mostly because I couldn't plan for anything while I was vomiting and trying to reintroduce food into my life. I'm really proud of myself, though, because I've bounced back from such a "non-Anna" scenario (not prepared, etc.). And, I don't think my teaching or my students really truly suffered in the meantime. I think in a way, even though they didn't know it, my students helped me through all that. Because of the relationships I've built with them, they were patient with me when I had my moments of "bad" teaching, they were helpful when they could see that I needed it, and they were kind when they could tell I was frustrated with myself for not being as ready for the day as I usually am. One student asked me if I was okay, and I told her that I was, I had just received some bad news. She told me, "Wow, Ms. Kramer, you must be really strong to be here with us after all of that." That one little statement has really carried me through. I am strong, aren't I? :)

All of this came right in the middle of what's called my PPA+ unit. It's basically a unit I teach that will get super judged/evaluated to assess whether I deserve a teaching certificate or not. Poor timing, hm? Yeah. But guess what? It's turning out really well. I think I really have a knack for this teaching thing. Even in the midst of a personal/organization upheaval, I'm able to be here for these kids, and actually use it to help me figure my stuff out. It's incredible!

I also went to our boys' last basketball game last night: phenomenal! They only beat the other team by 2 points in the last 18 seconds. There were some awesome dunks involved, a missed dunk that could have made the game, and some amazing basketball. Loved every second of it! I am really going to miss this school...I'm trying to think of something I can do for the students when I leave, because they have already done so much for me...

Ideas???? Anyone?

So far I have:
1) Write something nice about each kid, and read it aloud on the last day.
2) Have the students work as a class to make scientific posters for an experiment we are doing soon (write up the purpose, the methods, etc.) and put all of our names on it and then print it up for them

Give me ideas!

EDIT: Just realized the title implies that this post would be a paragraph. Sorry about that, definitely not a paragraph.