Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
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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Dec 13 2012


A kid climbed out my office window today and ran away from school.   I wish I could tell you that caused me to do more than sigh and make a phone call, but it’s been one of those weeks. Not much surprises me lately.    

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Nov 16 2012

All over my body

A sixth grader has gotten in trouble for horseplay so many times that he finally landed himself in my office. We went through the whole standard process and then started planning for how to do better from here on. We talked awhile and then I said, “Where’s a good place to keep your hands while…

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Nov 14 2012

Defiance and Deep Breaths

One of our seventh grade boys has started to blatantly and publicly defy me. He refused to follow my directions when I was covering his class, and the other day he yelled, “NO! I’m not listening to YOU!” at me in front of a huge group of students. (That’s despite the fact that I had…

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Nov 10 2012

Alternative ways to eat ice cream

We were having an all-school meeting in the cafeteria, and the kids got a little ice cream snack to eat before it started. As they finished, our principal called for silence and started talking. I was standing by the table of our rowdiest 7th grade boys, trying to use my presence to make sure they…

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