Drinking the Kool-Aid

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

Archives › 2011 › May

May 31 2011

Down the Hall

I’m so glad the 2011s are coming. I know that we’re not all going to fantastic and wonderful teachers, and I might even be surprised if half of us are—but I tell you what, that idealism everyone throws around about corps members might just be worth something. I don’t intend to vilify or put down…

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May 26 2011

Not what I imagined

Out of 61 faculty members who were at our staff meeting yesterday, 24 are black, 13 are Hispanic, and 23 are white. I’d loosely estimated that the majority of the faculty members at my school were black. Wrong. I read a comment by someone on something the recently that said “whenever you find yourself in…

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May 21 2011


White privilege. White anti-racist. White ally. White … hypocrisy. I feel uncomfortable, and as complainy and self-centered as this post is, I promise I’m glad of my discomfort. It’s not that I’m guilty for my whiteness—I don’t think. I think I feel… just pushed. I feel a healthy dose of fear and shame, I think.…

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May 16 2011

My Chance

My kid they call Dirty has been refusing to do any work for the past week or so, and I’ve been absolutely at a loss (as usual). I wrote him up one day for it, thinking maybe he just needed someone to coerce him into doing what’s best for himself… but it didn’t feel right…

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May 15 2011

Paris, Texas

I chaperoned our Senior/Junior Prom last night, which was an explosion of bejeweled butterflies, sparkly table-pieces, itty-bitty ignored pastries, uber-high-heeled (soon to be barefoot) young ladies, and flashily-suited gents. Overall, Prom was a much classier affair than Homecoming, and I was very, very impressed with the way everyone carried themselves. A couple thoughts: Upperclassmen are…

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May 14 2011

Climate Change

Looking at the next three weeks… and given the last two weeks… I just can’t help but write about the love I feel for my creatures. A huge, huge part of me learning to teach them well was learning them. I didn’t realize this until recently—when I ended some days looking back on how I…

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May 12 2011


Ugh. I’ve been writing a post in my head for the last couple of days about my wonderful kids are and how I’m realizing more and more every day that they can do absolutely anything, and that they want to. My DJ started staying in my class for 5th period (she’s in 3rd period) to…

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May 10 2011

Two or Three Biggest Lessons

Teach For America: “What are the two or three biggest lessons you’re taking away from your corps experience? These could be lessons about your students, yourself, the community where you work, the achievement gap (its causes, the most promising solutions, etc.), our schools and school system, education policy, Teach For America-specific lessons, or anything else–we’re…

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May 06 2011

Ghosts of Myself

Every once in a while, I look at pieces of my everyday life and have to do a double-take. It might happen while I’m looking in my closet at the clothes I bought in Houston during Institute, or when I smell a bit of summer coming back, or when I’m running the same old route…

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May 04 2011

Droop it like it’s hot

You know those Saturdays when you wake up later than you want to, vaguely intend to do something during the day, but end up wasting it all doing something pointless? When you feel sort of justified because it’s a Saturday, but you mostly feel guilty because of all the time you could have spent doing…

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May 03 2011

Teacher-Polishing Machine

Ever wonder whether you’ve done an adequate job of differentiating? Just count up how many kids pick that day to be a “I ain’t finda DO no work!” day. Unsure about whether you’ve inserted enough checks for understanding? Just look at the ratio of kids sleeping to kids working. Don’t bother asking your PD whether…

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May 02 2011

Differentiation on a Stick

I was muy disappointed in myself on Sunday afternoon because I hadn’t done any unit planning, even though I’d had all these great intentions to have super-duper-differentiated layered curriculum for my last five weeks as the first installment of 2YTA. I’d spent all my work time on Saturday deciding what on earth to remediate post-TAKS,…

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May 01 2011


Wendy Kopp is coming to San Antonio tomorrow. I was thumbing through the beginning of A Chance to Make History this morning and reading through the examples of stellar corps members, taking note of (and appreciating) the three examples of secondary CMs given right at the beginning of the first chapter. Since I started teaching,…

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May 2011
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