Some of you are fortunate to work in schools that provide you with a laptop or some kind of mobile productivity device. Others of you do not have such luxuries.
So, outside of using flash drives, emailing documents to yourself, or keeping things in a million places, how do you actually finish that lesson plan you started at home when you get to school?
Official description: “Dropbox is a service that lets you bring all your photos, docs, and videos anywhere, and share them easily. Any file you save to your Dropbox will automatically save to all your computers, your phone or iPad, and the Dropbox website.” Said more technically, Dropbox is a personal cloud storage service (sometimes referred to as an online backup service) that is frequently used for file sharing and collaboration.
Below is a screen shot of Dropbox. Clean and simple. Love.
What do you teach?
Allison: High School English
Andrew: 5th/6th Grade Social Studies
What is the funniest or strangest comment or question you’ve heard from a student?
Allison: Last year, one of my students asked me why we say “heads up” when we really mean duck. I was unable to answer.
Andrew: What kind of socks or those?
What is your favorite lesson you have ever taught your students?
Allison: I teach 10th grade English and at the end of a student’s 10th grade English class, they must take the End-of-Course Assessment (ECA) and are required to pass to graduate. Last year, for the week leading up to the test, I turned my room into a giant game board. We played ECA Quest to review, where the students were giant game pieces. There was a community chest, and a giant wheel to spin for each turn. Students really got into the game and were begging to play even after the test. It was so much fun to see the joy on their faces while they played and won!
Andrew: Passing laws/class rules in our fantasy senate.
What’s the best part of your neighborhood?
Allison: I live in a section of Indianapolis called Broad Ripple. I love the area because it is so eclectic. There are so many different types of people that live in the area – my neighbors are college students, retirees, teachers and business people. There is also a variety of things to do. This past weekend I heard some great live Jazz music, played with my dog at the dog park, went for a jog on the Monon Trail and went to the season’s first farmers market.
Andrew: Well for me, the Target. Other might say the bars.
What is your favorite comfort food?
Allison: I love food. Let me say that again. I LOVE FOOD. This is a particularly challenging question for me because I can pretty much take down anything but if I am feeling really stressed and just want to relax with my favorite comfort food, it would have to be a big plate of macaroni and cheese.
Andrew: Shrimp fried rice.
Who is your celebrity crush? Describe an ideal date with them in your city.
Allison: Well, my celebrity crush recently got married and I’m not really into home wrecking, but I have loved Justin Timberlake since I was in high school. When single, I used to dream of a date where he would cook me some fried chicken (since he is from the south) and then play the song “God Must Have Spent a Little More Time on You” on an acoustic guitar. Not that I’ve thought much about it or anything.
Andrew: I have always had a thing for the basketball player Candace Parker. I would love to take her to the park near my house and just shoot a couple of jumpers.
You know how you keep hearing about how important sleep is at Institute? It’s true. But, you may be wondering how to reconcile that with how everyone keeps telling you just how much all-consuming work you’ll have to do.
We know it’s not easy, so we asked two alumni to share their Institute scheduling secrets to getting enough sleep.
Aloha 2013 CMs!
Welcome to Teach for America. My name is Kayla Jensen, and I am a 2012 Hawai’i corps member. One year ago, I was getting ready to attend Phoenix Institute, and after hearing horror stories from older CMs during Induction, I had a lot of anxiety about what my summer would hold. Tales of late nights, ridiculous expectations, and fierce competition filled my already fretful mind. Now, one year out from Institute, I can look back and smile at the crazy stories people told me. While Institute is a whirlwind experience, it is not the nightmare I feared. I wish instead of hearing about all-nighters, someone had told me about the thrill of standing in front of a classroom for the first time or the joy of grading successful exit tickets following a lesson you spent hours planning. I wish I could go back and be with hundreds of people who are equally passionate about education reform and feel like they can change the world. I’m not going to lie to you. There will be moments when you question why you chose this over a lucrative career and chance to travel the world, but my only advice for you is to live in the present. Be mindful of the students in front of you and the inspiring CMs and staff around you. You’ll likely never have the chance to interact with so many people working toward one goal again. Take advantage of that energy and get ready for an incredible summer.
Sending you love and sunshine from Hawai’i,
(This is one of an upcoming series of letters to incoming corps members from current corps members and alumni. If you’d like to write a letter to incoming corps members, please email us.)
Every year, thousands of corps members prepare to pack their bags and ship off to various summer Institutes across the country. As you begin to prepare for this intense experience, you’ve probably already started picking the brains of friends and colleagues who have undergone this experience. These practical tips number many, but here are a few other things to keep in mind to make the most out of your Institute experience.
1) Pack a pair of earplugs and an eye mask. Regardless of whether or not you are a heavy or light sleeper, there will undoubtedly be many distractions that could prevent you from achieving your precious few hours of beauty sleep. Earplugs and an eye mask can help you remain rested throughout your six weeks, and help you get the sleep that you need, even when your roommate is up working late into the night with the lights on, or your neighboring CMs are discussing lesson planning in the hallway right outside your door. Trust me on this.