Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Feb 05 2013

Speaking of jail…

Imagine if your dad went to prison when you were in kindergarten. You visit him every Tuesday afternoon for six years and wait for him to come home to your family. Then he gets released a year earlier than you expected and doesn’t come home. Poof. You don’t hear from him again.   I’d probably…

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Feb 01 2013

Where You’ll End Up

I am surrounded by a lot of talk of jail recently. I don’t know why, but it seems to be trending pretty seriously over the last few weeks.   Sometimes, it’s a teacher giving the “what do you want your life to be?” lecture, which ends up involving a “wouldn’t this be terrible?” piece about…

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Jan 25 2013


She came into the office screaming in fury, fresh out of a furniture-flipping fit she’d thrown after being marked tardy to class. She sat in my office and ranted about all the injustices of the world, making her story bigger and bigger as she talked. She went on and on and on…while I stared at…

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Jan 15 2013

Becoming Heartless

A parent was near tears on the phone with me today, explaining why she’d stood me up for our meeting this morning. Her son was on trial this afternoon, facing serious sentencing, and her good friend was just hospitalized. Today was just not a good day.   I heard her to the end and then…

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Jan 14 2013

Gotta Have Faith

I never looked to my future and said, “Man, I hope one day I’m in charge of resolving all middle school drama.” I’d actually bet a lot of money that┬áno one has ever said that – why would you? It’s endless and impossible and it’s middle school drama. But now, here I am, in charge…

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Jan 11 2013

What’s That Sandwich?

I usually wait to eat lunch until after student lunch is over and I’m back in my office. It’s almost always the same type of delicious sandwich that I’ve developed over my last few years of teaching, although it varies slightly as I get inspired by different items in the supermarket.   I know a…

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Jan 10 2013

Show of Force

There was no food fight today. Instead, there was a pretty impressive show of force from the adults. Almost all of our teachers came to lunch, acting casual while strategically chatting with kids all over the cafeteria.┬áParents I called yesterday showed up to babysit their children and their friends. The security officer was roaming and…

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Jan 09 2013

Food Fight?

The kids are planning a food fight. I am terrified.   The good news: we learned about it in time. A kid reported it to a teacher, who bothered a whole bunch of kids to get names and then gave all those names to me. I got each of those kids in my office, put…

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Jan 02 2013

New Year’s Resolutions 2013

Blogging my teaching resolutions at the start of 2012 was surprisingly effective. I worked hard at pretty much all of them for the rest of the year, and I felt like it really paid off. (The notable exception was transferring my teaching license, which I never got far with. Instead, I’ve developed the nasty habit…

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Dec 31 2012

Call My Mom

It was the last day before Winter Break, and I was proctoring detention after school. As you can imagine, the kids were not thrilled to be there. They were grouchy, slow to follow directions, and trying to test my resolve to keep them without crossing the line and getting in more trouble. Needless to say,…

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