Friday, January 20, 2012

The Nod, Gateway to the Classroom

"Ms. Bryson, who's she?"

That's all it took. Just one question would let me into the lives of dozens of students. I looked at the curious faces, turning back to see me-- the recent addition to their class. Amy Bryson, a Teach For America Corps Member, had welcomed me into her middle school science classroom to share my knowledge in environmental health. All I had to do now was learn to teach.

"Hi, everyone! My name is Ms. Gaelle. I'll be coming to your class to learn from Ms. Bryson and from you. I want to get to know you and see how you like to learn. Then, I'll be teaching some of you about health! Does that sound good?"

With a few nods from the students, I was in! After just a couple of hours in the classroom, I witnessed the remarkable flexibility and energy that teaching requires. I also witnessed the mixture of enthusiasm and intimidation that learning creates.

I realized that education is more than just passion. What I need now are the right tools. Luckily, Ms. Bryson and the Classroom to Community program are ready with just what I’m going to need! 


  1. It's so interesting to see how students respond to classroom visitors! What are other folks experiencing this week? TFA folks -- do you hear anything from your students afterwards?

  2. It was really exciting to welcome Gaelle into my classroom last Friday. I am constantly striving to show my students that not only do I care about each of them and their educations, but that their learning is important to a lot of people! Having an Emory graduate student in my room makes them feel really special and gives them some extra attention that 6th graders especially crave.

    My favorite part though was definitely having them ask me today--"Where is our other teacher?" or "Where is that other lady?" from several students as they walked into my room--almost disappointed that they were just stuck with me!

    Gaelle is coming back into my classroom tomorrow to observe a lesson on waves and tides and then sticking around for my homeroom at the end of the day. We are going to start a valuable health conversation through a journal write to have students tell us about their experiences with health either their own health or a family member's and then opening it up for further discussion to get a feel for what our students know, believe, hear/see and need to shape our future work this semester!