Drinking the Kool-Aid

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

I’ve done a fair bit of reading about racism, but until now the only connection to education has been that I occasionally post things here about what I read. Recently though, I read bell hooks’ “Teaching Community: A Pedogogy of Hope” (which was admittedly mostly about undergraduate and graduate students) and started Lisa Delpit’s “Other Peoples’ Children.”

I think grad school had conditioned me to believe that all books written about education are boring, irrelevant, and written either by Captain Obvious or Sergeant Bullshit. Turns out, though, that reading books that connect something you’re passionate about to something you have a little experience in can be pretty great.

A lot in these two books has caused me to think good, hard thoughts, but what’s on the front of my mind right now is Lisa Delpit’s point in her second essay about power and indirect communication:
She quotes John Gwaltney’s Drylongso to say “the difference between…

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May 10 2013

A Person, Living, in a Place

FINE, I guess I’ll have my fourth root beer float in two days. If I must. And while I drink it, I’ll think about how crazy it is that I’m actually, seriously considering teaching next year. How weird it is to realize that might be what I want to do. So weird, in fact, that…

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Apr 02 2013

Watching Myself Quit

Somehow, I made it through two years of teaching without quitting. But I think I just watched a version of my past self actually do it. By that I mean I identified strongly with the difficulties one of our after-school employees was having, but couldn’t keep her from quitting. (Not sure if I wanted to?)…

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Feb 25 2013

Someday, maybe

On January 26th, I was riding the bus home from a professional development workshop and I accidentally let my mind wander into the teaching world. Not thinking about teachers in general, or thinking about schools or districts, but actually imagining myself in front of a classroom.   Thing is, these imaginings were not accompanied by…

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Jan 21 2013

People Like Me Exist

My initial reaction to everything TFA was “it’s too good to be true.” Throughout the application process, induction, and institute, I remember consciously keeping an eye out for weaknesses in this organization that seemed to be such a perfect example of how to do a nonprofit right. Part of my incredulity came from the fact…

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Jan 14 2013

A Thing That Happened

Part of my new job is subbing every once in a while for the teachers of our after-school program, and today for the first time I subbed at a K-8 school on the side of town where I taught. I felt a filling bit of belonging, interacting with kids who could have been my students’…

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Jan 11 2013

Not Dead Yet

Yup, still kicking.   What I’m up to and how it’s going: I’m working as a supervisor for an after-school program in my very same district. It’s an amazing job that I love. It’s SUPER easy, but I’m still learning things about how to motivate people and help them help kids. Plus, I’m working with…

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Oct 17 2012

Oh hey, it’s October!

October 2011 was a gigantic improvement upon October 2010, and now it’s October 2012 and I live in a world completely unrecognizable from either. First year teachers, this is for you.

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Sep 14 2012

The Best Thing About Malcolm X

was that he changed his mind, completely, slowly, every time he was confronted with the knowledge that what he thought was the truth wasn’t.

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Sep 13 2012

The Cost of Racism

I’ve been a little blog-blocked lately, in part because I’m afraid of producing the exact same kind of entry I’m tired of reading. I’m tired of reading blather from bloggers who pretend to be rational and neutral but refuse to look at the whole story. Why didn’t I see any feminist posts praising Mitt Romney…

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San Antonio
High School

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“The minute you think of giving up, think of the reason you held on so long.” - John Maxwell


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