Teacher Residency Graduation Day

1. This morning is Summer Academy exams for all our kiddos, and then MATCH Teacher Residency graduation.

Kids are off til school starts after Labor Day. But most teachers immediately jump into training in their new jobs (mostly Boston, some NYC et al).

2. Each day during Summer Academy, trainees get silly prizes. Randall, Laura, and Orin each bought a bunch of random stuff on ebay, to give away. Mostly used books and CDs. See Randall's haul.

For example, Marquan, Laura, and Colleen needed to "reset" a particular class. Kids were "slouching, not participating, not using professional voice." Tara wrote:

MLC formed a united front and addressed these issues together during snack. Collen started things off on a perfectly-positive foot, praising the kids for what they do well (super high homework completion rate, great focus on TTLs), while still letting the kids know this degree of effort is required all of the time...

Laura picked up by setting their collectively-high expectations: great posture, constant tracking, professional voice when speaking, etc. She was firm, with just the right amount of warmth.

Marquan wrapped things up with excellent reminders about merits and demerits - he positioned the class to feel hopeful and excited about receiving merits for stepping it up in every class; concerning demerits, he established a no-nonsense, 'you will earn them from ALL three of us if you choose poor behavior' tone.

It was just the right balance for this particular group of kids, who now know that all 3 of their teachers are united in expecting excellence.

So Randall said:

In recognition of your work, I'm proud to present you a three part prize. First, for recognizing that your class was beginning to drift into the upper circles of (behavioral) hell, enjoy your newish copy of.... Dante's Inferno.

Next, for meticulously crafting a cunning strategy for the reset, you get...The Prince by Machiavelli.

Finally, because the key to the whole thing was a focus on clear, consistent high standards for behavior and learning, I'm proud to give you a copy of...Great Expectations.

Finally, we needed a couple of extra bodies for the rehearsal yesterday, so I pulled Anjali and Dana. Both of them had really outstanding feedback that made a real difference in the final product. If I could give you both a copy of (it takes a) Village People's Greatest Hits...I would. But, sadly, there's none in stock. Instead, you just get to raid the CD box. Thanks for helping out!

3. I forgot to blog this. During the school year, we serve our trainees breakfast and afternoon snack. (Donors, this is where your hard-earned dollars go). Try to keep them alert after a long week of tutoring! Of course we have our trainees rate each snack. So we can shop for better ones. Veronica and Randall compete: who can buy the highest-rated snacks.

Randall won, 9.56 to 9.5 (out of 10).

But then some investigation revealed irregularities. It seems that Randall exceeded his $80 budget (for 30 people) to offer nice cheese and Blue Bunnies. In addition, we may have found ghost entries of "Your mom" and "Tu mama" which rated Randall-purchased snacks a 10 out of 10. Once the investigators are done in Atlanta, we may need them here.

4. MTR graduation has a few rituals. They get MTR sweatshirts which say stuff in poor taste. I won't print it here because my parents read this blog. Also, in lieu of "moving the tassel" on a graduation cap, there is another ritual which involves a timer and some fruit.

Finally, we adjourn directly to our "satellite campus," pictured here. Congratulations MTRs. Well done.