Drinking the Kool-Aid

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

Archives › San Antonio

Jul 28 2011

Switching Gears

I’m sitting in the San Antonio TFA office listening to Percy Grainger and trying to transition from the big picture to the little picture. July has been a wonderful month for putting myself to use. I officially have only $275 left to raise (https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1ErC1gAsr3BAfTpVH-lPezZZp4XltgSSlkeTaOX1l50Q), almost every 2011 CM in our corps is paired with a 2010…

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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 02 2011

Serving the Kool-Aid

I’m way, way, WAY too excited about all of you 2011 corps members. I mean, it was exciting when y’all started blogging, for a little bit–but to be honest, the TFUs environment was a little heavy on the praxis/anticipation/nervousness/moving posts for my liking. But NOW. Now, there are zillions of induction posts waiting to be…

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May 06 2011

Ghosts of Myself

Every once in a while, I look at pieces of my everyday life and have to do a double-take. It might happen while I’m looking in my closet at the clothes I bought in Houston during Institute, or when I smell a bit of summer coming back, or when I’m running the same old route…

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Apr 27 2011

More Words Learned in Texas

Part of the weird TAKS schedule means that as we’re rotating through the freshman class, the math department gets to eat lunch in the classrooms with the kids. Today, the kids in room 603 and I had a discussion about slang and what words they say that I don’t know  (and also how long the…

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Apr 24 2011

But for the Forest

I really like the act of teaching. I love the call to analyze, improve, learn something, and improve faster. I love (and hate) that my to-do list is always bigger than me and I’ll never grow out of it. I love being the leader, the center of attention, the decision-maker. I love feeling a little…

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Apr 14 2011

2011-2012 Starts Tomorrow.

It has actually already started. Tonight, there are 2011 San Antonio TFA corps members in town, to take their (first round of) certification tests (They’re badass, baller, and super-flexible, and they’ll take multiple tests so they can be ready to teach whatever our district needs them to teach). I’m going to meet them tomorrow. Is…

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Feb 04 2011

Guilt-Free Day

I never thought I’d be able to jump on the bandwagon and write a post about a Snow Day. But here we are, drinking hot cocoa at 2pm on a Friday afternoon, blogging about the <1mm dusting that everyone is calling “the storm.” The great thing about snow days: they’re absolutely guilt-free! Any work I…

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Feb 03 2011

Three Quick Stories

#1: I can see my breath outside, but no one believes in insulation in Texas, apparently. It’s so cold in my apartment that this morning, rather than brave the cold for three more seconds to grab underwear from my drawer, I got dressed in my steamy bathroom and went without. #2: I’m pretty sure that, when…

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I will probably be adding to this list periodically, but I wanted to put the first draft up in case there are any fourth-deadline applicants or yet-to-confirm third-deadline peeps out there. – We are a BRAND NEW region. As part of the San Antonio corps, you will be instrumental in shaping what TFA looks like…

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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 10 2010

Where I’m From

I am from Takis and TAKS and talking in class. I am from once-threatening ivy, heavy footsteps above my closet, and a mailbox that smells like cockroaches. I am from Tacos and Pep Rallies… in the morning. I am from counting our successes, long hugs in doorways, from Ms. Hargis and Magnolias. I am from…

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Sep 28 2010

“Ah, miss, why you cryin’?”

“Ah, miss, why you cryin’?”   That’s my bass drummer. “Miss, you not crying because the sub, are you?” I’m not sure what that means. But the intercom was just beeping in at that point. “Did someone buzz from this room?” And my mentor teacher: “Yes, we need a substitute as soon as possible in room 407.”…

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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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Aug 20 2010

Heard in SA

On last year’s standardized test data: “We need to focus on the students taking the TAKS-M test this year. Those are the ones who are really hurting the school.” On teaching the required first-week curriculum: “The district made this plan… but we’re doing only half of it. The kids won’t pay attention to it anyway.”…

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Jun 15 2010

Induction vs. Institute

Middle School of Fine Arts? … Texas is weird. It’s 6:15 am and I’m getting ready to head to DAY TWO! of Institute. Yesterday was mostly fantastic, and very interesting, and very long. The total # of typos and misplaced apostrophes or commas in TFA texts has increased from zero to 3. And while an…

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Jun 13 2010

Spurred ;)

I have yet to become disenchanted with Teach For America. Every encounter I’ve had, from recruiting meetings to reminder emails to my interview to this first day of indution, has been consistently, increasingly impressive. It’s been one growing pleasant surprise. Oh, it’s cool that they put so much energy into recruiting; they really do recruiting…

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Jun 13 2010

Dear San Antonio Charter Corps:

WE are going to be the inspiring numbers, the anecdotes, the data that are going to WOW next year’s 2011 SA CMs, going to make them shudder with excitement and make THEM excited to get going. WE are going to BE those stories! These 100 people are going to be the numbers that define SA for…

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Jun 09 2010

Texas Blog?

I’ve been thinking I want to have a blog, or blog-esque thing, to keep loved ones update on Texas goings-on. However, I’m thinking I probably don’t really want to set up a REAL blog. Perhaps facebook notes will do just fine? I may change my mind. But for now, here’s Texas, day one. Hopefully I’ll…

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