Drinking the Kool-Aid

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

Archives › Summer One

Aug 20 2011

You knew me when

Why don’t we ever see any exemplars before they’re exemplary? I want to see Taylor Delhagen’s teacher face. I want to see Justin Meli address severe misbehavior in his room. I want to see exactly what Megan Brusseau did to invest her investment-proof kids and their parents. WHY can’t we ever see anyone on their…

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Aug 16 2011


Oh, honey.  Ohhhh, honayyy. Reading posts by first-year teachers is even harder than I thought it would be. I’m feeling a little sick to my stomach just from following the few who have started already–not because of anything in particular, but because of how their words back that suspended-reality, too-anxious-to-feel-anything reality of a year ago.…

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Aug 13 2011


The hardest part about teacher-planning is how easy it is to get stuck. Right now, I’m trying to turn my big goals into long term plans, and I’m VERY invested in getting a good long term plan for my year before I do just about anything else. But I’m having trouble figuring out exactly how…

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Here’s what I’m thinking: We know the frustration and inefficacy of “re-inventing the wheel,” and we’re such fans of the “beg, borrow and steal” method. We’re also on the search for a model of a transformational school or transformational teaching that is sustainable and scalable—one that we can point to, see exactly what was done…

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Aug 10 2011

I. Am. So. Thrilled.

Orientation this year was EXACTLY what I needed, and I didn’t even know I needed it! Everything we talked about was centered on articulating our long-term vision for our students—and the process of pulling out what I’m doing and why I’m here has done SO much for my outlook for my classroom. I love that…

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Aug 03 2011

Mirror Pic

I am… … teaching upper-level math! … SO happy to finally know what I’m teaching this year. … shocked that I’ll be teaching juniors and seniors. … sad for the other teachers who really wanted to teach upperclassmen… … nervous to be in charge of students who, in some cases, are two years younger than…

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Jul 21 2011

What I’ve Been Working On

In June, two friends and I went to Victoria, TX to a Whole Brain Teaching workshop led by Chris Biffle. We spent three extremely engaging days learning how to teaching in extremely engaging ways–complete with a management system, high-energy reading and math games, and specific higher-order thinking exercises. The thought running through my mind the…

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Jul 20 2011


My hiatus from blogging was somewhat unintentional, but as it turns out, much-needed. It was good to get out of the habit of Thinking In Blog! This will probably be a baby-post, since I’m on lunch at another workshop and haven’t finished my chili, but I couldn’t wait. My summer is turning out to be a…

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Jul 01 2011

(Not) Channeling Bev and Bem

Oh hay. It’s hard to believe I haven’t been posting more often, what with the way my June went. I spent a week in New Orleans, a week in a training at the same conference center we had Round Zero Kick-Off in, a weekend in Houston with our 2011s, and three days in Victoria, TX learning…

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Jun 18 2011

I had a dream about Wendy Kopp.

I think it was triggered by a woman I saw in Border’s yesterday (I literally did a double-take because her tall face, brown makeup and purple lipstick looked so much like WK’s). She was giving a huge talk to all the 2010 CMs in the nation, heading into their second year (It was somewhat like…

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Today I led a group of 24 high schoolers down Bourbon street in New Orleans at 10am. I’m on an end-of-year KIPP trip (last-minute chaperone! LOVE it!), and according to one of the students, this morning we passed 23 bars, 11 of which had pictures of naked girls in the windows. Whoops. New Orleans is…

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Jun 12 2011

End To End

I wrote this slowly. Please read it slowly. It started in Portland, Oregon. I learned everything about everything, and loved everyone. I compressed my minutes and hours and learned how to do more than you think I can. It was enough that I had potential. It started in Spokane, Washington. I put more than what…

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Jun 10 2011


I get a kick out of cryptic titles that make you think I’m talking about something else. San Antonio’s 2010 corps calls itself the “charter corps,” and it does not mean we teach in charter schools. We are charter in the sense that we are created. We’re talking about a charter as in a law…

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Jun 07 2011


Today was an absolute pile. First period, my Sly kid threw my entire stack of perfect blue paper down the stairwell right after first period. It would have been some stupid mischevious end-of-year thing if it weren’t MY stack of nice paper that I’d set out for them. For some reason it really made me…

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