Friday, July 16, 2010

Pics from Induction and Institute

I just figured out how to post pictures on my blog, so here is a
bunch of pictures from my summer adventures. The first few are of me and my RGV corps member buddies on the last light of induction week and the rest are from institute of my corps member friends from 6 different regions in Texas and Florida.I hope I get the chance to tell you all about these amazing people someday because each and everyone of them are incredible people with incredible stories and incredible passion for changing the world one student at a time.

The Last Day :)!!!!

Yay :D Today is the last day of institute. My kids took their post test yesterday, and as promised, I want to share how the scores turned out. So....they were AWESOME! On average, the class average of all 15 kids went from a 70% on the pre-test (just four weeks ago) to a 90% on the post-test!!! Some highlights:

  • George went from a 58% on the pre-test to an 83% on the post test
  • Ellen went from a 67% to a 92%
  • Jordan went from a 71% to an 88%
  • Isaiah went from a 41% to an 83%
  • Mary and Alia both went from 71% to 100%
  • Selina went from a 63% to an 83%
My kids are rock stars and I am SOOOO proud of all the hard work they have put into getting to their goals. Many of them far exceeded the ambitious goals we set for them and only a few didn't meet them. Every one of our kids showed growth in multiple areas throughout the summer. My co-teacher and I are going to meet with the kids one-on-one today to tell them their scores and share how extraordinarily proud we are of them. Many of these kids have never been successful at school before. I truly hope this is a turning point for them and that they recognize the reality behind our constant rallying that hard work leads to great gains.

Before I sign off, I have to also give a shout out to Tobi because I got the most amazing package full of goodies in the mail last night just in time for today's final student store. Thanks a ton Tobi! You are so super thoughtful and my kids are going to love all the new additions :)

Hasta Luego Amigos! Meg

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

NYT article link :)

Only three days left at institute...WOOHOO!! :) I will be happy to get back to the valley, but I have to admit that I will be a little sad to leave all the amazing people that I have had the privilege of working with here in Houston. I just wanted to real quickly post a link to a NYT article that highlights the process of getting into Teach For America and also talks a little bit about this year's Houston Institute in particular. Hope you enjoy :) Hugs to ya'll!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Last week of Institute!!!

Hey Ya'll :) Just wanted to post a quick update. I'm heading into my last week of institute and I am super excited to get back to the valley and have a couple weeks of down time before the school year starts. I've made so many awesome friends here and I can't believe I've only spent four weeks with these amazing people- it feels like I've been teaching with them for at least a year! Some of us are heading back to the valley together, but a good number of my new friends will be teaching in different parts of Texas or Florida. I guess it's just a good excuse to go visit different parts of the country ;)

My kids have made some fantastic progress over the past four weeks. They took a pre-test four weeks ago and then re-took the same test two weeks ago. In just two weeks, their scores were 11% higher on average. We have set individual learning goals for each students based on their pre-test scores, most of which are around 20-30% improvement. They are taking their post-test this upcoming Thursday and we will get to give them their scores on Friday and celebrate their improvements together. The class "Big Goal" is for 100% of the students to meet their individual growth goals by the post-test date. I will definitely post after the test and share how they did. I am so proud of how far they have come and know it is going to be really hard to leave them in a week. I have absolutely fallen in love with these kids. They are truly amazing and my inspiration for working relentlessly 15+ hours-a-day.

I have to shout out a few people who have been incredibly encouraging and helpful to me over the past few weeks :)

* Shout out to my amazing mom who has sent me multiple packages every week, made two trips to Corvallis to pack up all my stuff, and is driving my car across the country this week so that I have everything I need as soon as I get back to the RGV! You are a HUMUNGUS help mom- I love you much!!

* Shout out to my auntie Debbie and uncle Bob. Debbie sent me two big packages full of school supplies and has offered to stock my classroom for next year with everything I need-What an amazing blessing?! My uncle bob and her both spent all day last Sunday helping my mom move my things out of my apartment and load up my car for the trip. They are such wonderful, generous, giving people and I love them mucho too!!

* Shout out to Shawn for taking a whole week of her summer to drive across the country with my mom with all my stuff! You are amazing Shawn- thank you times a MILLION!! I owe you big time!

* Shout out to Landon for hauling some of the heaviest stuff in my apartment down three flights of stairs to help out my family when they were moving me. That's a true friend ;) And a second shout out for getting engaged to the lovely Laura!! You two are such a sweet and deserving couple :)

* Shout out to pretty much the coolest college professor ever- Marie :) She sent me all sorts of goodies for my student store and the kindest note that totally made my day. She has also inspired much of the way that I teach math and my excitement about teaching math. Thanks so much Marie!

Ok- I'm off to Rice Village to hang out with a couple of friends. I hear there is a chocolate bar somewhere around there and I'm pretty much super excited about taking advantage of that ;) Have a wonderful week and thank you all again for all the encouragement, prayers, and goodies you have sent my way. Hasta la vista amigos!