Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Nov 04 2012

Bad Days

You know it’s been a bad day when one cop asks you, “Well, how was your day otherwise?” and the other cop laughs and says, “Yeah, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?”

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Oct 31 2012

Feedback’s Back

My feedback is finally all back in, and it’s fine. I didn’t get exceptionally glowing reviews, but no one was as hard on me as I am on myself. No one came anywhere close. People complimented me on things that I’d been feeling really insecure about, and didn’t attack me on anything that hurt too…

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Oct 30 2012

How could I be sleeping?

I had horrible trouble sleeping last night. I swear I spent the entire night dreaming that I was at work, with a million things that I was supposed to be Dealing With. People kept coming to me to tell me that a kid had done something wrong and I needed to follow up. Then I…

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Oct 26 2012

Conspiracy 101

Another detention? It’s not my fault I got detention. I didn’t do anything. That teacher just hates me. This is not your first detention. I have this feeling that’s not the whole story. Right. The teacher hates me. All the teachers hate me. They just give me detention all the time for no reason. No…

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Oct 25 2012

Arguing 101

Why are you in the office? I don’t know. Did you come here from class? Yes. What happened in class? Nothing. Why did you get kicked out? I didn’t get kicked out! That teacher kicked me out. So you got kicked out. No I didn’t! She kicked me out. I’m sorry, I don’t understand. Can…

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Oct 12 2012


I have never been so anxious about feedback in my life. I have to collect some anonymous survey data from teachers so that I can set goals for my year, and it has me shaking in my boots. I know that this is a great opportunity and their answers are information that I really want…

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Oct 11 2012

Basically A Cop?

I’ve started seeing the following advertisement in my Gmail account: “Mobile Drug Test Kits For Law Enforcement Authorities”   This wouldn’t be noteworthy, except for the fact that Gmail uses information it picks up from your emails to target your ads. It’s also important to note that this comes from my personal email account, where…

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Oct 10 2012

Imagine the rest of my day…

Today, the following words came out of my mouth:   “This is not the time to make excuses for your child. No matter how frightened I have ever been, in my entire life, fear has never caused me to say descriptive things about anyone’s mom’s pubic hair. That is just not a typical stress response.”

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Sep 27 2012

Knowing Parents

I am really bad at parents.   More generally, I am bad at faces; it takes multiple encounters for me to even recognize a face, much less put it with a name. Every year, I explain this to students, ask forgiveness in advance, and then quiz myself relentlessly (“Hi. Is your name John?”) until I…

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Sep 26 2012

Not Aging Gracefully

Sometimes, I have to spend all day with kids who are in too much trouble to go back to class. Today was one of those days.   I was sitting in my office, trying to get work done, and this kid was supposed to be writing an essay. Unfortunately, he is an incessant pencil-tapper and…

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