Drinking the Kool-Aid

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
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 interested in hearing whatever stands out to you as the most significant lessons from your corps experience.”

Me: “1. I can live through anything. I’m an incredibly strong and persistent person and if I just keep being myself for long enough, eventually I will get results.

2. SUCCESS, even just a whiff of it, IS ADDICTING.

3. The achievement gap is hugely due to people not doing their jobs. This makes the people they’re accountable to not able to do their jobs, which makes others not able to do THEIR jobs… Education suffers from under-investment in PEOPLE.

4. Math education in America suffers from an additional, completely separate, equally debilitating gap. No one in math education seems to know how students learn math–and the people creating the best resources only know a fraction of it. Math  educators have been around for YEARS, teaching exactly the same things, but we still haven’t figured it out. We still seem to think it’s okay that some kids just don’t “get” math–actually, math should be treated the same as literacy–absolutely necessary, and absolutely imperative to figure out how to teach correctly.”

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