Drinking the Kool-Aid

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

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Sep 20 2010

The Magic of Disney

Disney songs have always, always had a very special place in my heart. But I’ve never needed them like I need them now. I’m not sure if I’m a) forgetting how to deal with stress, b) developing an anxiety disorder, c) just not used to this kind of stress, or d) all of the above—but whether…

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Sep 19 2010

New Words Learned in Texas

Childish, adj:   Technically, I think this would be defined with its original meaning, “acting like a child.” But it’s used more like “stupid” or “dorky.” Messy, adj:  Mostly applied to females, and has nothing to dowith their appearance. A messy girl ‘has a big mouth’ or ‘likes to create drama.’  Nobody likes “messy girls.” Trifling, adj:…

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Sep 18 2010

Concave Up

The night before the first day of school, I would describe myself as both insanely nervous and foolishly confident. I was unprepared, and I knew it. And I don’t just mean “unprepared” in the usual Institute-was-so-different-I-had-no-idea-it-was-this-hard kind of way. There was a little additional I-never-wrote-a-management-plan-or-a-unit-plan-or-even-a-first-day-lesson-plan (until Sunday night) going on, as well (for which I have…

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Sep 09 2010

Teacher ADD

A moment ago: I was opening up my computer, putting water on the stove to boil for tea, and jotting down a list of exactly what HAS to be done in order for me to survive tomorrow. It occurred to me that I’d meant to make a sandwich. So I got out the bread and…

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Sep 09 2010

Balance This

So maybe I pulled all-nighters at Institute. Maybe I consistently spent eight hours a night working on one-hour lessons. Maybe I’m that slow-working obsessive-compulsive perfectionist who you never saw because I was, quite literally, working all the time. But at Institute, my lessons were aligned. They were thoughtful. They were structured. They had lots of built-in,…

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Sep 05 2010

… I miss Institute.

 I don’t get it. When is the point where I start feeling like this is possible? When do I start to realize that I CAN do this? I miss the clarity and straightforward simplicity of Institute. Everything started from scratch–it was just SWBAT and the mastery tracker. Everything else was execution, execution, execution. Which is…

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1st period was okay, I think. It may have been good, even; I don’t remember. 3rd period is usually really fun, and today they were just crazy and non-responsive and I went all angry-teacher on them, which didn’t work, of course. And then 5th period was the same (because it’s comprised basically of everyone in…

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Sep 01 2010

Wednesday Moment

“Miss?”    I went over and teacher-squatted next to my Converse Kid’s desk. “Yes?” “Miss… Miss, ah…” “What’s up?” “Miss, I’ve never said this to a teacher before, but…”  (and now I’m all ears, totally interested/concerned/curious/really perplexed) “… but, ah… ah… you’re the most beautiful teacher I’ve ever seen.” … “Thank you. That’s very nice of…

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Aug 27 2010


… is the way I would describe my first week. I’m not teaching the way I did at Institute, and I was no rock-star there, either. I’m not prepared–ever. I’m doing everything that pisses me off about teachers: making copies at 8:30 am, planning activity-driven lessons on the way to school, stretching out the warm-up…

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Aug 25 2010

Big Goals

There’s nothing quite like unveiling your Big Goal over a sea of absolutely unresponsive side-conversations in 8th period. It’s incredible how vulnerable that one lesson makes you. I have a very thick teacher skin that I’m proud of, but I wasn’t prepared for how much of my HEART was up there on the board being…

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Aug 23 2010

Day 1

I told myself that I was going to take a deep breath right before first period and say to myself “remember this moment. You’ll never be this inexperienced again.” … but I forgot. Probably because at that time I was still frantically trying to get the copier un-jammed—because the $40 I spent at Kinko’s at…

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San Antonio
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