Drinking the Kool-Aid

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

Archives › 2011 › January

Jan 30 2011

Substitute Guilt

In the past week, I’ve taken more sick days than I took during the whole of first semester. It began Friday the 21st, with an even-higher-than-usual level of Friday Exhaustion and a tickle in my throat that told me I should stay in bed all day Saturday (too bad. CHAMPS training instead). Three sub days,…

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Jan 29 2011

Direct quotes from my Brat

I love this girl SO much. She’s really funny, and totally uninhibited. She asks the most random questions, and has been the author or some of the funniest things I’ve heard in the classroom. Part of her reminds me of me when I was in the fifth grade—obnoxious and proud of it, with a totally…

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Jan 23 2011

The Pull

Something big has happened. I said the words “I love teaching.” They just kind of came out of me.  I typed them in an email, actually. And while I’ve tried these words out in my head a couple of times over the past few weeks, they have (until yesterday) been less appropriate than “I’m happy”…

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I will probably be adding to this list periodically, but I wanted to put the first draft up in case there are any fourth-deadline applicants or yet-to-confirm third-deadline peeps out there. – We are a BRAND NEW region. As part of the San Antonio corps, you will be instrumental in shaping what TFA looks like…

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Jan 18 2011

Snapshot 1.18

Today’s lesson was not my best. It’s the first lesson in 2011 that has pretty much flopped, though, so I’m not too broken up about it. When my lessons flopped before, I could see it coming—I knew I’d planned it too hurriedly or carelessly, or I knew there was something involved that the kids wouldn’t…

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Jan 13 2011

Looking Back and Moving Forward

Looking Back: Semester one: Done! I realized today that OPERATION: INSTITUTE officially ends today along with the second nine-week grading period. In reflection, though many of the specific items that were originally part of the endeavor never happened, I think the objective at the soul of the effort was met. Tier 1, Routine, has definitely…

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Jan 13 2011


I’ve always hated probability. It was my least favorite part of Stats, and I still had trouble with combinations and permutations, even at some math teacher training in November. Over the last two weeks, my intervention classes played with M&Ms, Skittles, dice, and”Trashketball” as they learned about probability. As usual, some kids got some parts…

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This is something my beloved CS said at least once a day at Institute. With mastery at 44% and my school demanding a list of “kids who count” (their term, not mine–i.e. kids who are within range of passing the TAKS), it couldn’t be clearer that my re-awakening has come just in time. I can…

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Jan 08 2011

Week 17

My mastery tracker has five yellow boxes and one GREEN box in the sea of orange. I have a checklist to complete every weekday after school, and a tracker on the fridge to see what percentage of the tasks I complete every night. I have a student who admitted to learning something yesterday. I have…

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Jan 07 2011

Take Away

This afternoon, I had two goals for my hungry student: 1) find missing lengths of right triangles and 2) find various areas of composite figures. We were working on the latter, and came across an interesting problem; instead of being given the triangle’s lengths, you were given other measurements that could lead you to deduce…

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Jan 04 2011

Making It Happen

I can’t even begin to figure out a way to tie this post together or make it interesting or profound, and so I’ve been putting off posting it. But I can’t leave it too long, or this blog wouldn’t be the honest chronicle I want it to be. So at the risk of not quite…

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The following is a post by the lovely leader of the Upper Math community on TFAnet, and my reply to it. I’m interested to see what non-math teachers have to say about it, and she just said so many things exactly the way I feel them that I decided her words belong in my blog.…

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


January 2011
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