A Blog Covering D.C. Education [ABCDE]

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

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Oct 24 2010

My Best Decision?

Life is busy, as usual. But somehow–between lesson planning, problem solving and grading–I wrote a piece on my TFA experience in my college newspaper, the Yale Daily News.  Here it is.

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Oct 11 2010

Reaching A Milestone

Taking note of milestones is an integral part of any classroom. “This is the first time we’ve read silently during independent reading time for over 20 minutes!” “This is the first time I haven’t had to ring the respect bell at all this period.”  “We’ve just hit 10 books on our book tracker!” 100 is…

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Presumptive mayor-elect Gray and Chancellor Rhee both seem to be in lose-lose situations regarding education reform in DC. No matter what next steps each chooses in the coming weeks, each will be criticized harshly. Neither appears to want to make the first move. Doing so, presumably, would be a sign of weakness.  Jo-Ann Armao of…

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For as far back as I can remember being a newspaper-reader, Randy Cohen’s “The Ethicist” column in the New York Times has been a favorite weekly read. In it, Mr. Cohen provides pointed, and sometimes-snarky, ethical advice to reader-provided moral problems.  I enjoy reading “The Ethicist.” Though I don’t think his moral philosophy is necessarily…

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One species of finch

How do we as educators unleash the inner Darwin in every child? Having just returned from a weeklong cruise in the Galapagos Islands (what I called the ultimate professional development), I find myself constantly looping back to this question. The implicit task that I had set out to do spurred my thinking along these lines.…

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Jul 03 2010

On Teacher Buy-In and IMPACT

I’m going to attempt to weave my love of Post-It notes with my reaction to the Education Sector panel on “Finding the Link: Teacher Evaluation and Professional Development.” I’d like to focus on one aspect of this complex discussion: teacher buy-in.  Here goes… As a teacher, I see Post-It notes as my personal guardians. Filled…

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I can best describe the end of my school year as bittersweet.  I went into the last week or so knowing that I had been excessed and would no longer call my school home.  As a result–as with my last days in college–every moment felt like one of those “what-if-this-is-the-last-time?” moments.  I said goodbye to…

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Jun 12 2010

A Premature Goodbye

One letter changed everything.  An Assistant Principal (AP) had entered my classroom with the letter and solemnly handed it to me.  At 3:15pm on Friday, I learned that I had been excessed by my school. The explanation from the administrator went like this (note: I am taking serious liberties in paraphrasing): “Our school enrollment numbers…

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May 26 2010

On a Series of Unfortunate Events

I look forward to reading Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events this summer.  This is a book series that many of my students read and enjoy.  I think I will connect with the book too; I’ve recently experienced my own series of unfortunate events. O, hear, hear! Let me tell you a tale about…

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May 05 2010

A Dagger in My Teacher Armor

It came without warning.  I was certainly unprepared and, moreover, shocked that a student like RT could utter those words from his mouth. Near the beginning of 4th period, while instructing my ancy, heat-distressed students (it has been well above 80 degrees this entire week and the school doesn’t switch the the A/C on until…

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Everyone around me knows that I like to drink the TFA Kool Aid.  I sip it for breakfast, imbibe it at lunch while I’m resting and gulp it down before going to bed.  Being the nerd that I am, I’ve had the TFA Core Values up on the corkboard in my room since I arrived…

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Jan 21 2010

On Disasters

This time around, I don’t even know where to begin. I’ve talked endlessly about the physical learning environment (here and here).  I’ve talked about how I will endure anything that doesn’t affect my personal safety/health.  In fact, I’ve said that I feel safe at my school.  But never did I think that my physical safety/health…

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These days I’ve been eating too many marshmallows.  I need to stop.  Now. What explains why I haven’t created that attendance tracker I have been meaning to make since October? What explains why I haven’t graded these worksheets on denotation and connotation?  What explains why I have come home each night this week and taken…

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There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

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The “Where I’m From” poems somehow seem to unlock my students’ minds.  There must be something particularly stimulating about searching deep inside one’s soul for the language to express one’s identity.  As previously discussed, I had my summer school students write “Where I’m From” poems.  ER’s poem was excellent.  But, now that I have more…

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Really, "A Blog Covering Dilemmas in Education": A (former) English teacher's reflections…

D.C. Region
High School

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