Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Dec 30 2013

#87: Megan

I was wary of making post about this. I’m struggling to write about this in a way that isn’t about me because it isn’t at all. But I feel like this is professionally the most emotionally-wrenching thing I’ve been party to and wanted to share this from a teacher’s perspective.
One of my students from last year was murdered by her ex-boyfriend and father of their child. He was also one of my students last year. They were actually both in my 2nd period class for a time, though she switched to my 4th period class later. My connection to Megan and Eddie was more personal than typical because her child was due right around when my son was. We three talked a lot about babies and family and parenting and whatever other sundry topics that come about from having a baby. Her daughter just celebrated her first birthday this week.…

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Dec 30 2013

#86: Fall 2013 in review

In the past and particularly this summer, I have had a draft or two kicking around in my mind before I actually sat down to type anything. Not so, this fall. I think this goes beyond me being busy. We are always busy. I think what is different now is that I’m less certain. Less…

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I am in the middle of wrapping up 30 hours of state-mandated “Gifted and Talented” professional development. I don’t know how useful it is to call it such given that many of the practices are just plain good practice for any student (encourage creativity! open-ended questioning!), and it’s a bit disconcerting that it is brought…

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Aug 21 2013

#84: Guest post on Edushyster

Year four of teaching 4 America is afoot, but before I lapse into a writing coma until Thanksgiving, I have a guest post up on Edushyster. I had a lot of fun writing it and a lot of distress researching it.

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Aug 16 2013

#83: I don’t blame you

I had a chance to sit and chat via Spreecast with some of the regular cast of characters around the TeachForUs/TFA water cooler this week. At the end of the discussion, a 2013 corps member remarked to Gary Rubinstein that he comes across as extreme to new TFA corps members who have not had much…

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I’m pretty far removed from academia these days, so forgive me if I’m duplicating another scholar’s work. I’ve been engaging with and reading the opinions of a greater number of stakeholders in education this summer. I’m finding the Democrat-Republican and liberal-conservative (social or economic) divides to be less helpful in understanding the debates that are…

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Have y’all heard of this guy Matt Damon? Apparently he’s a fairly well-known public school advocate who made some waves by announcing that his children would not be attending public schools in Los Angeles and instead he and his wife decided to enroll them in private schools. In response, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush did…

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Jul 21 2013

#80: Fight the real enemy

Mrs. Villanueva-Beard, I’ve been reading your speech to TFA alumni in Detroit. I found the title of your speech compelling: “Fighting the Wrong Enemy”(1). Once I was able to get past the more boilerplate aspects of the speech, I dug into the core of your message. I know one of the things you and Matt…

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We have a new principal who has charged members of their respective departments with interviewing and recommending potential hires this summer. I was privileged enough to be on that committee for a couple of different rounds of interviewing. First, we had two vacancies left by teachers who took jobs at neighboring schools. We interviewed five…

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For those of you who would like to participate, I posted about a MOOC offered by Stanford called “How to Learn Math” for which you can still register. This course is my introduction to MOOCs, so I’m at once enjoying the content and the presentation of it as well. I don’t think this substitutes for…

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