Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

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Jul 19 2011

Homemade Jelly and Good Days

For the first time inĀ  my life, I ran successful centers today. If you’re not a teacher, “centers” are where you set up different activities around your classroom and put kids in groups that move from one to another. It’s the type of thing my old school always said we should do (it’s great for…

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Jul 18 2011

I’m Coming Over!

I love home visits. I wish I’d just taken the initiative my first two years, called up families, and informed them I was coming over to say hi. At my new school, we’re each only required to visit 5 of our kids’ families, but I just want to keep going forever. It’s the best. First,…

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Jul 16 2011

My Kind Of Kid

My new school is a charter and I know that means we get more than our fair share of good kids, but we are taking over a struggling school. That means all of their fifth graders were automatically accepted into the program, since it’s in the same building as their old school and replacing their…

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Jul 14 2011

Leadership and Taking Responsibility

There was a little bit of confusion with kids staying after school today, and I think some parents got upset. I don’t actually even know the full story, but I think some teachers kept kids who weren’t supposed to stay and some people didn’t make phone calls that were supposed to be made. I’m not…

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Jul 11 2011

Cupid Shuffling

I am learning how to incorporate “brain breaks” into my teaching. The idea is that instead of fighting to keep kids silent and still for an entire class period, you give them quick (usually less than 2 minutes) opportunities to have fun and be active. If you intersperse a couple of brain breaks into a…

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Jul 07 2011

Tears, part 1 of many

As I’ve said many times, one of my biggest fears about working with younger kids was how easily they cry. Well, it’s Day 2 of school and I already brought my first student to tears. At least I got it out of the way? She talked in class once when she shouldn’t have, and I…

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I did not get run out of town by tiny sixth graders today, but it’s also hilariously clear that these aren’t eighth graders anymore. *When all the kids were entering school and finding their homerooms, a girl walked up to me bawling. Between sobs, she managed to get out a, “Can *gasp* you *gasp* help…

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Jul 06 2011

Meeting Sky-High Expectations

This year, I promise I will never even imply that I work in the trenches. I also promise that by the time I do get back to the trenches, I am going to be the best teacher ever. Wait for it. Today was the first day of my new school. Not just the first day…

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Jul 02 2011

Toning down the frumpy math nerd

I met one of my new students and her mother yesterday. The daughter was absolutely giddy about math, talking on and on about her feelings for it and trying to show off her knowledge of fractions. When she walked away from us, I commented to the mother about how impressive I thought her daughter was.…

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July 2011
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