Meet your Colleagues: Will in The District

Name: Will Bondurant
Site:
Breakthrough DC!
Subject:
8th Grade Science (Physical Science)
Attending: UNC-Chapel Hill – Class of 2011

Thoughts: I have never taught before. I have taken only a basic level of physics in college. I have not taken Chemistry since 10th Grade. These three statements have bounced around my head for the past three months, and I have tried desperately to assuage my fears (my executive director could confirm this – she got at least two nervous emails!). After reading the Breakthrough website and the Breaking It Down text, I desperately want to do my part in our program, to positively affect the future of the DC students, but I can’t help but feel inadequate. How am I supposed to teach rising 8th graders physics? I struggled with physics! How am I supposed to convey complex ideas to students with whom I share very little? Moreover, my concerns were multiplied today, as I visited the host site for the DC program for the first time. It was the last day of classes for the regular students at the charter school, and the announcements rang out all day asking for students to report back to their classrooms, etc. The veteran, full-time teachers with whom I shared a workspace in the teacher’s lounge were fed up with the students and administration, and a dean was visibly upset about the discipline difficulties. How had I forgotten to include student discipline and teacher morale in my concerns? The good news from my visit, however, is that Josh (the summer site director) offered a large amount of assistance today and I feel much more comfortable with what I will be teaching. Through collaborative and in-depth work on my curriculum, I’m relieving some (but not all, yet!) of my concerns. I have no doubts that the majority of my concerns (if not my nerves) will be quashed at our Teacher Orientation next week, and I remain filled with enthusiasm and optimism for the summer.

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