Darla Bunting Inspires

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

Archives › School Days

Dec 10 2009

Operation IBP: The Breakthrough

Today, I had a much-needed chat with one of my most challenging students.  I taught him last year when he was a third grader, but somehow his work ethic and classroom behavior has changed significantly in my fourth grade class.  This year, from his outward display, one could say he is does not care about…

read more »
Nov 21 2009

Constantly evaluating and making changes

     Becoming a great teacher is all about constantly evaluating your progress and making changes to improve.  Working with two classes of over sixty children with differing personalities, different things work for each and every one of them.  At the end of the day, if I just decided to keep teaching the same way…

read more »
Nov 19 2009

DEAR and Round Robin Reading Debate

  The students at my school do not receive enough direct reading instruction.  The pacing (unit) chart at my school only gives students two-45 minute literature blocks a week.  One block is devoted to reading the entire story.  The other block is devoted to teaching vocabulary and literary skills.  In reality, my students are only receiving 45 minutes of actual…

read more »
Nov 17 2009

Reading is FUNdmental Program Evaluation

  Alittle over a month ago, two other corp members and I started an after-school reading program.  This program, targeted towards our lowest level readers, was initially aimed to use guided reading in an effort to bring our students up to their proper reading level.  Today, we had an evaluation meeting with my program director, Kwame.  I…

read more »
Nov 17 2009

Girls2Ladies Updates

     I love working with Girls2Ladies.  A couple weeks ago my little lovelies performed during our school’s spirit week.  They had been practicing for weeks, and were extremely eager to show off everything they had learned.  I had a bright idea to design and order Girls2Ladies t-shirts to wear during the performance and for…

read more »
Oct 07 2009

“You are one smart cookie”

Reading is FUNdamental, an after-school targeted enrichment program developed by myself and two corp members, began today.  We were nervous and excited the entire day.  We decided to have a working lunch in order to go over any last minute questions and go talk about the day’s agenda.  Today’s goal was to invest the students…

read more »
Sep 09 2009

My Four Classroom Management Essentials

  The learning curve from my first-year to my second-year is off the richter scale.  It’s amazing how much insight just a year of teaching can increase a teacher’s toolbox.  This summer, I taught third grade at Samuel L Green Charter School in New Orleans.  I learned so many classroom management strategies that I have…

read more »
Aug 30 2009

You can’t cheat the numbers

At Teach For America’s first Professional Development Saturday of the 2009-2010 school year, second-year corp members received a second dose of reality.  Diana Leonardo presented the 2008 Corps State of the Union, in which she outlined the state of education in Louisiana and what that means to us as a corp.  The following are just…

read more »
May 14 2009

“Ms. Bunting, am I your baddest student?”

Last week, one of my most challenging third graders asked me in a proud tone and a huge grin on his face, “Ms Bunting, am I your baddest student?”  He was obviously expecting me to say he was since he has to constantly flip his card or be sent out for disrupting the class.  However,…

read more »
May 14 2009

my free time PASses by

So the end of the year is full of many major events.  One of these is my certification PAS portfolio.  In this thick binder that I have to submit by June first will be everything that qualifies me to be a certified teacher.  Here’s a small run down of everything that has to be included:…

read more »
May 14 2009

“Do or do not, there is no try.”

Those words were uttered by Yoda in Starwars.  Although, I’m not a Starwars follower, nor can I tell you hardly anything besides the fact that I think the ewoks are cute, I did find this scene on youtube.  He’s giving Luke advice.  Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcjnbIF1yAA

read more »
May 14 2009

A is for Attitude

Over the past month, my fifth grade girls have butt heads constantly.  Luckily, there have not been any fights because I have a relationship with each of them, and they know to talk to me when they have a problem.  I always know when something has happened because one of my girls will raise her…

read more »
May 13 2009


I walk through life with a calling and purpose much larger than myself.  As members of the human race, we should all feel this sense of wanting to improve the lives of our fellow man.  Growing up in a city plagued by poverty and lack of resources enabled me to see first-hand the injustices that…

read more »
May 13 2009

Feeling warm and fuzzy inside

Warm fuzzies are a hit in my classroom! My students love writing fuzzies each morning and reading them at the end of the week.  Their little mailboxes fill-up each day, and they get so excited.  I have a mailbox as well.  Below are just a couple of the warm fuzzies I’ve received since implementing my…

read more »
Feb 13 2009

Downs and ups…

Today can be summed up by two significant events: Down: A significant number of my students snuck and changed their behavior cards back to avoid detention and then would not come clean about it Up:  The afterschool program is back!!! :-)  I found this out as I was leaving school.  However, I was not given a reason for its…

read more »
Feb 11 2009

Black History Month Project: HBCUs

I spent last night thinking of what creative spin I could take on Black History Month.  Every year my students learn about the same handful of people who have definitely made monumental contributions to Black history.  However, this year I wanted to expose them to something different.  I was inspired by two of my fellow…

read more »
Feb 10 2009

Listening position

My third grade class is filled with students–more students than should be in one classroom.  Coupled with the fact that I’m a first-year teacher and learning my classroom management style, effectively teaching my  rambunctious third graders has proven to be a year-long challenge.  However, for the past month, I’ve worked with my third graders in…

read more »
Feb 05 2009

Teach For America Support

One thing I love about Teach For America is all of the support available to corp members.  Today, I had a visit by Tom Shepley, Senior Managing Director of Programs of the Greater New Orleans Region, stopped by my school today to give be some advice in becoming a more effective teacher in my school’s…

read more »
Feb 04 2009

WHAT?! No more afterschool remediation?

Today, shortly after 3:30pm as I began 4th grade LEAP (Lousiana State Test) tutoring, I was informed by another teacher of some daunting news.  This teacher informed me that she heard from another teacher that the afterschool program was discontinued due to lack of funding.  Adding to the confusion was that the children found out…

read more »
Feb 03 2009

sometimes I hate teaching social studies

    As an African American it pains me to teach American history to my students.  We are up to the point in history where slavery is introduced.  Given my school curriculum, there is little wiggle room to inject some of my African American studies education into the lessons.  The period of slavery was a mere…

read more »
Jan 30 2009

My week in tags

I’m normally longwinded.  However, because of the lack of time I’ve had to devote to myself this week, I decided to sum up what going on in my teaching life through tags.  My week: rollercoaster, laughs, acting, hustle and bustle, believe, grading, adverbs, exams, singing snake, grade level meeting, achieve, nonstop, ILEAP, present participle, smile, frown, attendance, smartees, guidance, academic quality controller, imagine, give me 5, tired, lesson…

read more »
Jan 24 2009

“What does the world mean to you?”

Clip from the movie Pay it Forward.  I’ve never seen the movie, but it’s a must-see now.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGcwG-2owow “How about possible? It’s possible. The realm of possibility exists where?  In each of you?  Here. (points to his mind) So you can do it.  You can surprise us.  It’s up to you, or you can just sit back…

read more »
Dec 19 2008

I left home with 3 large suitcases and a dream

Song of the moment:  John Legend, “Home Again.”  It may be long to get me there. It feels like I’ve been everywhere, but someday I’ll be coming home. I left home with three large suitcases and a dream.  I grew up in a failing school district and wanted to experience first-hand the problems teachers faced…

read more »
Dec 12 2008

Snow? In New Orleans?

This morning my students had a pleasant surprise when they arrived to school.  It began to snow.  My students were so excited, and I couldn’t help, but share that same joy.  After speaking with co-workers and my students I found out that it hadn’t snowed since Christmas Day 2004.  Before 2004, it hadn’t snowed since…

read more »
Dec 09 2008

Today was a good day!

Today, was the first day that I felt everything I was working towards creating was finally coming into manifestation in both of my classrooms.  Since day one, I’ve been racking my mind trying to find ways to teach certain subjects and systems and procedures for my classrooms.  If you’ve been following my journey, you would…

read more »

About this Blog

Educator – Motivator – Public School Advocate

Greater New Orleans
Elementary School

Subscribe to this blog (feed)