Creating Classroom Culture
Taking Stock
Where will you be next year? Be specific. Describe what you know about the place you will be teaching.
Next year I will be teaching second grade at a pluralistic Jewish day school in Washington, D.C. My class will have about 19 students, and will be one of two second grade classes. The entire school is less than 300 students in pre-K through grade 6. The other second grade teacher is a young woman, like myself, who started teaching second grade at the school five years ago (this is her fifth year teaching this class, which was her first teaching job out of her graduate teaching program, like me!).
  • Math: ? There is a program. I think it's Investigations (spiral curriculum)
  • Reading: the program is called Reading Street
  • Social Studies: Washington, D.C. History (I need help on this!)
  • A day in the life of...” series
  • Science: I will NOT be teaching. They go to a science specialist
School support: other second grade teacher is happy to let me teach a parallel curriculum. There is also a general studies coordinator.
Is this what you wanted to do?
This is essentially my dream job. I wanted to be in a pluralistic, vibrant, and somewhat small school with a lot of staff support, prep time, and a very structured curriculum. Washington, D.C. was third on my list of places I want to live (after Philadelphia and San Francisco). The school is in a nice neighborhood, and I could easily live nearby. I might have liked to be in an upper elementary class (grades 3-5), but I'm happy that in second grade, I will have to grade less written homework.
Why does this job suit you? Be specific.
This job suits me for all of the reasons above.
  • I'll have the support I need, yet some flexibility in doing my own creative ideas.
  • I like that there will be prep time and resources for teachers.
  • I'm great schmoozing with diplomats and other rich, important people (parents).
  • I really like this age group. They are starting to feel comfortable in their intellect, and doing some complex thinking.
What is something you do well or enjoy doing that you want to make sure to do in your class next year?
I'm excited about laying a strong foundation for writing.
What is something that does not come easily to you, or didn't yet learn that you want help with before you start teaching?
Social studies content about Washington, D.C.