Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

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Jun 29 2012

Guns and Babies

I somehow ended up sitting at my kitchen table, reading a report on school shootings. I got distracted from some discipline strategies research I was doing and ended up unable to tear my attention away from this report. It was written by the Secret Service and the US Department of Education, and it’s basically a…

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Jun 20 2012

Retaining Kids

There might be nothing in the world I hate more than Retention Meetings. Teachers in my old district always complained that we just passed on kids no matter what, but they clearly never had to be a part of meetings like this. Having to tell a parent that their child needs to do sixth grade…

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Jun 19 2012

Immigration Story

This weekend, I took a student’s mother to her lawyer. She doesn’t have a license to drive herself there and can’t speak English well enough to communicate confidently on serious matters. This visit was serious because she isn’t here legally, and needed to see someone about a small violation that may or may not lead…

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Jun 15 2012

Everything Wrong With The World

I got a phone call tonight from a former student… if you’ve been reading my blog long enough, I hope you can guess who. (Yep! THIS KID.) Unfortunately, the call was heartbreak after heartbreak, but you’re going to have to re-live it with me.   I’ll let you digest all of the things wrong with…

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Jun 05 2012

Strategic Insanity

I was trying to explain to someone what the “Careful, Your Teacher Has Gone Absolutely Insane” emergency discipline response is (see my last post), and was reminded during my storytelling of why it is my absolute favorite when all else fails. It was my second year of teaching when I first (accidentally) tried it successfully:…

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Jun 04 2012

Gremlin Takeover

Last week, I decided I was going to consciously make an effort to be kind to my kids. It’s not that I’m not normally kind – I love my kids intensely and they know it – but the end of a school year makes you act a little crazy. Exhaustion peaks and tempers flare, both…

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June 2012
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