B is for Blast Off

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jul 08 2010

B is for Brianna


I teach for BRIANNA, a 7th grade student in my math class who scored a 31% on her diagnostic assessment, a 33% on her daily assessment yesterday, and a 100% on her daily assessment today.  She wears her pink backpack in the front and raised her hand at least four times in class today.

I teach for FRANKIE, a 7th grade student who filled in absolutely nothing on his diagnostic test on Tuesday, leading me to believe he could not speak English.  After I found out he tested at a sixth grade reading level, I took him aside after class to tell him I believe he can get a perfect score on his final test.  He scored a 0% on his daily assessment yesterday and a 33% on his daily assessment today.  He spoke three words out loud to me yesterday; today, we shared a secret handshake and many smiles.  We are making progress.

I teach for JULIET, a 7th grade student who got a 100% on both daily assessments I have given.  She is positive and humble, and I am looking forward to progressing in lesson planning so that I can challenge her, even as I work with remedial students.

I teach for PANCHO, a 7th grade student who exudes energy and whose rowdiness I am determined to use for good.   He scored a 37% on his diagnostic test and a 78% average on the daily assessments I have given.  He is a natural class leader with a contagious smile.

I teach for ISAAC, a 7th grade student who raises his hand when he has questions.  I cannot say enough for students like him who own their academic weaknesses and seek help.

I teach for all 28 of my tremendously beautiful, intelligent, hard working, hilarious 7th grade students at Stevenson.  As we talked about the theory of malleable intelligence today, which says that we can grow our brains and get smarter by making the positive choice to work hard, I saw their attitudes change.  Kids who admitted that their parents or teachers had, at some point, told them they were stupid or incapable pointed their thumbs at their chests and chanted in unison, “I believe in me.”

I believe in them fully.  I believe that all of them will reach 100% of their individual growth goals for the summer.  I believe that this summer’s preparation can prepare them for a successful 7th grade career.  I believe that if I invest them fully in their education, I can set them on a path to a four-year university.  I believe that waking up at 5am to teach them and attend training sessions until 5pm before working out, eating, lesson planning, and sleeping is a totally joyful responsibility.

I teach, because the cause is too urgent to waste time.

For the kids,


11 Responses

  1. Norma Hays

    B is for Believe….I believe in what you will accomplish with your kids this summer. Keep the Faith!

  2. Audrey

    B is for Bond, as in “Your word is your bond.” You have integrity. What you believe is what you say you believe. And what you believe is what you do.

    I love you. I love what you do.

  3. I couldn’t help but feel an enormous amount of emotion reading this, it gave me goosebumps. Keep fighting the good fight! We’re all proud of you!

  4. Carmen

    I agree 100% with Alex. L is for Love – the love I have for you and love you have for education and your students.

  5. Jada Banks

    Well said, Bailey. Good for you. The future for all of us is brigher for your commitment to these children.

    • Jada Banks

      Oops, where is spell check when you need it? That would be BRIGHTER.

  6. Sarah Newcomb

    Bailey, I am so proud to know you. The kids whose lives you will touch is amazing! The enthusiasm that you show for each one of your students shines through your writing and I look forward to reading all about your adventures together! High energy students are the best teacher helpers!!

  7. Lynda Myers

    You are an amazing woman and I am so proud of you. You are doing amazing things with your life. I love you, cuz.

  8. Debby

    Wow! Bailey. The teaching profession needs more teachers like you. To imspoire is to succeed, and you are succeeding. Congratulations on your work. Well done.

  9. Debby

    Again with the spell check and wandering fingers…”inspire”

  10. Misha

    B is for Best Friend…and I’m proud to have a lutchshaya padruga who inspires and fills me up like you do. Stay grinding, miss you.

Reply to Debby

or, cancel reply

About this Blog

Bailey Thomson, Bay Area Corps Member 2010

Bay Area
Elementary School

Subscribe to this blog (feed)