B is for Blast Off

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Dec 07 2010

B is for Benchmark

Rocketship students take a math benchmark test five times a year to provide aligned data on their progress toward proficient and advanced status on the California Standards Test.  This data is a point of departure for my unit and lesson plans, and it keeps students accountable for their progress.

…if only there were a blogging benchmark.  Updates will become more regular as I regain my sanity.  Suffice it to say that the semester is ending tremendously well professionally, personally, and in terms of student achievement.  In the last assessment cycle, my students increased their scores (out of 100) about 17 points on average, making them the biggest gainers in the entire Rocketship network!  I am applying to work on staff for this summer’s TFA training institute in Los Angeles, and I am looking forward to leadership opportunities within our Rocketship staff in the spring.  I am finally (!) working fewer than 90 hours a week, and I travel outside of San Jose three weekends a month to Palo Alto, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

The semester has by no means been easy.  The strain of long work hours, a challenging environment, and infinitely high expectations has, at times, taken its toll on my health, my communication with friends, and my self esteem.  However, Thanksgiving break was restful and fun, giving me an opportunity to set new priorities and recenter myself for the remainder of the semester.  My new 9:30 bed time (yes, it’s true!) is serving me well.  The next step is bringing back this summer’s daily workouts- we’ll see.

For the kids,


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About this Blog

Bailey Thomson, Bay Area Corps Member 2010

Bay Area
Elementary School

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