Surprisingly, I don't really agree with this description of Institute that floats around each year. The people who have gone through it seem to describe it as this place of hell. This place that no one can survive without some tears and without some madness. I don't really agree with this at all. Institute was difficult, but it wasn't really that bad! I promise.
The kids are crazy, the environment is completely different than anything I ever experienced as a student, and the pressure is intense. But in the end, what are my overall thoughts? Success. I have learned so much that would have killed me in my first few weeks in Arkansas. Institute's expectations of us are intense. Make lesson plans without us teaching you what one is. Teach students that don't want to be here but have to be to go on. Focus students that only need one of hte four classes to pass onto the next level. Read 3,000 pages of pre-institute reading that won't be touched afterward. Change these students attitudes in 2 weeks and improve their grades by 20% in every instance.
Ah, goals. Are these things impossible? Are they ridiculous? They might be ridiculous, but really, that's why we joined this program isn't it? Yes, it is. I am here because I want to create excitement, I want to create investment, I want to change the attitude of students that don't think that have those options out there. So, no, Institute is not that bad. My stress is my own, and not something that I can allow into my classroom for those 90 minutes a day that I teach.
So, end of institute survey, I am surprisingly positive!