Drinking the Kool-Aid

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

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Dec 13 2011

Recommendation Letter

My WestPoint’s tenacity is striking. As an upper-level math teacher, I encounter many students who need to be very persevering in order to succeed. Out of all the students I’ve taught, however, WestPoint is absolutely the most diligent, methodical, and productive. She powers through new or difficult concepts with a straightforward patience that tells any…

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Mar 26 2011

Pre-Sophomore Teacher

Yesterday, I made a shift. If you know high school freshmen, you know that there’s some point close to the end of the year when they stop being freshmen per se and become… “pre-sophomores.” (likewise, there’s a point closer to the beginning when they actually become high-school students instead of eighth-graders plopped into a high…

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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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Dec 16 2010

I want to study TFA.

I don’t know anything about the data out there that looks at corps member effectiveness, but because I’ve seen so little of it, my gut says that it’s pretty sparse. Why? TFA seems like a pretty hot topic. Only 20 years old, maybe, but controversial and growing fast. Where’s the robust body of research to…

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Dec 15 2010

Posting the Positives

One day, this blog will be full of exclamation points and happy stories about good teaching and respectful children, signaling its author’s total-180-teacher-transformation from incompetence to Best Practices Queen. Until that day comes, however, you’ll have to be satisfied with only sporadic attempts at a balanced perspective—even if it’s only in the hopes that I’m…

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Oct 22 2010

Week 9 // Don’t be Stupid

Sunday night: feel calm and confident about the weekend’s productivity and the upcoming week. Feel out of the rut, like things are different somehow. Monday night: come home from CM discussion meeting inexplicably sad. Tuesday night: come home from working at TFA office and fall asleep in roommate’s bed at 8pm, cry on the phone…

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There I sat, trying to figure out how to make a 3 x 3 x 3 cube puzzle with five different pieces of no less than three and no more than six cubic units each, with no two pieces being the same shape. Naturally I wanted to be the first one to finish the task, and…

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


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