My Summer Teaching at Boys’ Latin

First and foremost, apologies for the lack of updates. My new teaching job has taken a huge bite of my time. Combine the new job with laptop issues, moving into a new apartment, and attempting to be an adult does a lot to a person. With that being said, hopefully this will be fully updated and caught up to speed within the week.

My first teaching position took place at Boys’ Latin, a charter school located in West Philadelphia (save the Fresh Prince jokes). I co-taught English for incoming Freshman students. It was also the bulk of TFA’s Summer Institute. Each weekday consisted of staying up until about 2-3am lesson planning. The only appropriate comparison I can think of for Institute is finals week in college. But instead of a week of late-night working and cramming, it’s a full month and the education of fourteen-year-olds are at stake.

Now my memory has become a bit hazy and foggy, even though summer school at Boys’ Latin was only a few months ago. But here’s a few highlights from what I remember:

  • Being nervous as hell
  • Being called “Coach Spoelstra” a lot
  • Not being a fan of wearing a tie to work everyday
  • “Relays”
  • Getting sick of Animal Farm (only book we taught all summer)
  • A student describing the Russian Revolution as “ratchet”
  • Telling my students that Kobe is in fact the GOAT
  • Telling my students to not shoot paper balls into the trash can
  • Reminding myself to never bring up sports in class (arguments and riots would break out)
  • Having a kid that skated in class as well
  • De-stressing on the weekend with co-workers/friends
  • Being stoked when the students sang “Happy Birthday” to me
  • Celebrating my birthday in Philadelphia
  • Figuring out my teaching style
  • Learning how to “positively narrate”
  • Gaining a newfound respect for all of my former teachers

I truly wish I could remember more, but the one thing I won’t ever forget is the feeling I had when I actually taught a student. It was dope. The look in the student’s eyes when he realized the connections between Animal Farm and the Russian Revolution was highly rewarding. If the “Schmoney Dance” was already around, I would have “Schmonied” all over the classroom.

My time at Boys’ Latin made for an enriching summer. Fun times spent with great people.