A Journey to the Unexpected

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

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I have felt the Intensity this week. The Intensity of very mixed emotions, but still… yes I’ll use TFA-speak… the sense of urgency. It’s just a sense of urgency that occasionally comes with a good dose of suspending my mind mid-thought. When I began this blog, I intended to keep my whereabouts concealed for any…

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Jan 06 2012

Things that warm my heart on a snow(y) day

  Colbie Callait+Jason Reeves… and the related Pandora station. Students who ask me to clarify directions on my snow day blog and then say it’s helpful when I do …simply because it means they’re reading them Coming home to my dog Hot chocolate-or coffee- with Irish cream Snow days that mean my sister can stay…

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Dec 24 2011

Dear overwhelmed and miserable CM,

It surprised me that I wasn’t counting down the days to Christmas break, because I definitely was holding my breath for it. I have dragged my feet and my poor students through every day of the last few weeks, and it showed in our last test. We had some good days with great FAs, but…

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Dec 13 2011

small successes

Today, one of my students asked me not to write a grade on his project because he wanted to keep it to show people after asking if I’d gotten in more books he’d enjoy. When I shared that with a 6th grade teacher, she asked “You mean he’s not in alternative school yet?” Two students…

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That question that I have heard almost every day for the last week is haunting me. Right now, all I see is my failures–even when I tell myself it’s not all my fault if he does. Somewhere inside, I ask, “Can I be enough? Can I change his life? Can I turn this county around?…

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Dec 04 2011

Do you ever…

…try to see the future? I have some incredibly intelligent young men who are determined that they will spend a good portion of their adult lives in jail. They’re incredible. And they’re sweethearts. One of my students who has spent about half the semester in juvie wore an orange sticky-note star on his shirt half…

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Dec 03 2011

Why I feel strongly about my last name.

I have spent way too much time grading and tracking quizlets today. Yes, quizlets, because they were shorter and worth less points than my regular quizzes–in other words, REALLY not worth the 4 hours of my Saturday right before potentially the busiest week of my year. To be fair, I’ve also had to spend some…

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Nov 28 2011


November seems to be the month of quitting. If not to do it, then to think about it, talk about it, dream about it… at least that’s what a brief perusal of tfanet and Teach for Us tells me. I can understand why. Maybe it’s because they told me October was the worst, but in…

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Nov 23 2011

Slightly cliche, but for real.

The time spent cleaning up my classroom at the end of every day is usually much more about collecting my scattered thoughts than leftover worksheets. Today, all I could think about was how many things I cannot stop being thankful for–and then I realized that it’s Thanksgiving week, and all people will be talking about…

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Nov 20 2011

Here it goes!

I’ve never planned on having a blog. It always felt like I would be sending my thoughts and words out into an open space to die, but in the last few weeks, that’s changed a little bit. Thoughts and words from other corps members that I probably will never meet have kept me going on…

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Nov 14 2011

Hello world!

Welcome to Teach For Us. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

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