Drinking the Kool-Aid

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

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• I’m happy to not be lesson planning. The thought jerked me awake about a week ago as I was drifting off to sleep: “What if I never write another lesson plan again?” • I’m glad to have loads of time to spend on myself—chew over possible career choices, take the Clifton StrengthsFinder (Positivity, Learner,…

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May 17 2012

No Clearer Mirror

On Wednesday, May 2nd, someone very important to me mentioned that I hate my job casually in conversation, as if this was a known and well-established piece of knowledge between us. I stopped her: “… Wait. I hate my job?” While I try not to make a habit of defining my reality based on what my…

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May 15 2012


It’s blog season. New blogs and new bloggers popping up everywhere make me a little excited and a little… frustrated. I love the newness, love the enthusiasm, love the optimistic anticipation. Of course. But reading First Posts is a little uncomfortable for me, because I can remember so well when I felt the same way…

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Apr 04 2012

Behind every bully is a sad story

The day we returned from spring break, my juniors and I had a Class Meeting. We sat in a circle and I forced them to tell me their thoughts on TAKS, our class, whether they thought we were headed in the right direction, and what we could all do to get where we all want…

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Feb 24 2012

Running on Empty Fills Me Up

Whew. I have a to-do list like a bucket with a leak in it, and a classroom like a game of whack-a-mole. I’m a grad student suddenly immersed in a hyper-speed introduction to things like ANOVA, MANCOVA, 42 U.P.C Section 1983 and San Antonio v. Rodriguez. I’m presenting research proposals to my classmates and and Positive Behavior…

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It was weird, reading it after already completing almost 1.5 years. I would have absolutely gobbled it up as an incoming CM, and really do regret that I didn’t know about it then. It was so much more real than anything I was exposed to at institute or during my own first year of teaching…

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Oct 18 2011


In the midst of many things going generally alright, I’m really struggling with the percentage of my kids whose average is below 70%. I know there are a gazillion teachers out there who have struggled with the conflicting forces of high expectations and keeping your failure rate at an administration-friendly level… what do you do?…

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Oct 10 2011

Climbing in the polls

My principal is very quickly climbing in the polls inside my head. He’s been such a do-er this year, which I really admire, and his “moments of greatness” are becoming more and more frequent. Maybe “do-er” is what others would call “impulsive,” but I’m a fan. Today he suddenly decided, per the math department’s failure…

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Sep 07 2011

Leaving School at 9pm

… 9:15, actually, and loving it! Minus the backache, knee-ache, and foot-ache. Today was one of those days where technically you’re doing work, but you’re not doing anything that takes too much thought or has any roadblocks, so you stay fresh mentally. No Teaching Headache today. Love it. I wish this had been a long…

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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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Dec 07 2010

Squeezed Through the Cracks

I’m used to kids randomly appearing and disappearing from my class list. The front office sends out a weekly email with lists of the students who have enrolled/dropped out in the past week, and I usually get about one or two new students every two weeks. I’d say I lose about the same amount, whether…

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Dec 06 2010

My Wise Young Lesbian

I found out in a meeting on Thursday afternoon with my principal and assistant principal that my school has started “withdrawing” kids. “This is a learning institution. And if we’re not about learning, what are we doing? Kids with bad grades, attendance, behavior… they’re acting in a way that flies in the face of everything…

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Dec 03 2010


I am very lucky to have the principal and the administration I have (that’s sooo odd to say, after complaining about them for months). While I’ve officially decided that I really don’t care what they think of me as a teacher; as much as they fail in follow-through and are forced to operate in a…

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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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