A Journey to the Unexpected

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Nov 28 2012

Some Nights

I’m crawling into bed, not because the work is done, but because my eyes just can’t focus anymore. I’ll be up a little earlier than usual to write down test scores tomorrow. Rather than the cathartic journaling that is sometimes required to sleep, however, I’m blogging, since the whole point of this thing is to…

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Nov 15 2012

I Teach for Malala

I remember one of our first pro-Sats, in which our Icebreaker was to finish the phrase, “I teach for…” You’ve heard the expected responses. “I teach for that student whose life I changed forever yesterday.” “I teach for my classmates who went to prison because nobody believed in them.” “I teach for the single mom…

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Oct 24 2012

My Life in Jason Mraz

I’ve been saying recently that nice people have never meant so much to me. I’ve always been easily amused, but in the last few months, I think I’ve begun to see smiles, encouraging words, and simple acts of kindness the way Mother Teresa did–not that I’ve become the little pencil of God writing his love…

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Sep 22 2012

The things I’ve been paying the most for.

My sister said it best this summer. “You love the things most that you’ve paid the most for.” Every minute of last year cost me blood, sweat, tears, and years of my life—probably more literally than anyone, including myself, really gets just yet. True, this year is better than last, better in a way that…

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Sep 10 2012

Living in the now.

It’s one of the “Uncommon Schools” positive reinforcement practices. From my limited observations, it mostly seems like an Uncommon practice. I’d like to think that my main audience is other teachers, though I’m fully aware that it’s mostly curious and supportive friends and family (thanks guys), but this post I actually intend for “almost” or…

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Aug 21 2012

With Great Power…

One of the first years finally asked that quiet question, that last glimmer of hope that we didn’t have last year—“Tell me, does it ever get better? Is it ever less overwhelming?” A bold question for a girl only a week into her second year who spent the last year crippled and gasping for some…

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Apr 19 2012

6th Period.

I took a moment to look around my classroom—just look. It’s not often that I have the opportunity to observe my own class, but my state advisor had offered to teach my class today as my kids review for the state test—now three instructional days away. It’s impossible to believe we’re almost there, but that’s…

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My favorite season of the year, bar none. This year it’s been a little different—lent happened quietly, school happened loudly, and the week leading up to Easter was my much-needed spring break. Today, I drove home tired, jet-lagged, and happy from a wonderful week with family and friends, and I’ve been trying to settle into…

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Feb 28 2012

Moments as window panes, in other words.

If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain; If I can ease one life the aching, Or cool one pain, Or help one fainting robin Unto his nest again, I shall not live in vain. Did you believe it, Emily? TFA tells me that one day, all children… but…

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I feel like in the last few weeks I’ve had a running list of “Reasons why teaching this semester is a hundred times better than teaching last semester even on the worst days, aka, reasons why last semester may have been the worst six months of my life thus far.” I tend to be dramatic,…

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