Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

Archives › 2011 › October

The honorable, fact-checking, fraud-exposing educational policy debater Gary Rubinstein just wrote a post on his blog entitled “Why I did TFA, and why you shouldn’t” (click here for the link). It’s super interesting, as many of his posts are, which is why I read them even if I often feel like his TFA gripes and…

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Because of the nature of our student population, where everyone is moving in with aunties or going to stay with grandma for a while, or moving from one housing project to another (they just redistricted or rearranged housing units here, which moved a bunch of kids into our district), we get new kids and have…

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OK, maybe the title of this post is a little harsh. But let me explain. As a first by the way, teacher vocab for the uninitiated: aligned. Aligned means that the stuff you teach, the practice students do, and the preparation they have matches up to what they will be expected to do or know.…

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Oct 12 2011

Feeling like a failure.

My biggest behavior problem kid, this kid, the only kid who gets to the bottom of the behavior chart every single day, got kicked out of my class and moved into the class next door. At 8:43 this morning, he was in my class. At 8:44, he was no longer my student, for the rest…

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Except in the case of my kids, Obi Wan is education. I learned something interesting from my mother today. A friend of hers whose husband is in the FBI told her that Gallup, NM, is considered a “hardship” assignment for the FBI, which means someone who works here for 5 years then gets to pick…

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Oct 07 2011

The beauty of half days is…

…that even your toughest kids can sometimes make it through the whole thing without melting down. Today was a half-day Friday, which kind of sucks because it means all the time is taken up with testing, but it was also awesome because this kid, who is my toughest behavior kid and generally does not make…

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Oct 05 2011

When is a sentence like a present?

A lot of my snapshots of kids are venting frustration at their behavior, or their past educational experience, or their required testing. Let’s not do that today, shall we? One of my kids–let’s call her Snoopy, after another famously communicative nonverbal character–doesn’t talk, as a general rule. She scored in the 0.5 percentile in oral…

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Oct 02 2011

I’m exhausted but…

I planned my whole week–reading and math. I made practice worksheets for both my regular math group and my quick-learner math group (yes, that’s right, we’re DIFFERENTIATING and all that fancy whatnot). I found a powerpoint and graphic format to introduce the idea of drawing conclusions so it will make sense to my kiddos. I…

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Oct 01 2011

Coaching in…just about everything.

Before you read this post, read this article by Atul Gawande: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/10/03/111003fa_fact_gawande?currentPage=all Or read my brief summary. Basically, he’s saying that we have this idea that being a “professional” in any field but sports means that you have reached a level beyond needing a coach, or needing improvement advice. You’re supposed to be able to…

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In which I muse about New Mexico, teaching, and life in general.

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