Latest posts from High School

Dec 10 2013

Please Support Spencer Smith’s Recovery

This past summer I befriended a new TFA corps member named Spencer Smith.  For five months I followed his journey from his teacher training to his experiences in his Detroit classroom.  Sometimes I’d needle him about being in TFA, but he always took it in stride.  The other day I noticed that Spencer had not…

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Dec 05 2013

What teaching has done to me

More specifically, what teaching at a low-income school has done for me. Two things you should know about who I was in college. 1. I was a joyous person. Not to say that my life was gilded or that I didn’t work my tail off for things or that I was a golden child who…

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Dec 03 2013

Let Your Kids Be Your Hope

my kids are awesome

For all of you first year CMs who are having the worst month of your life right now, this post is for you. IT DOES GET BETTER. THERE IS HOPE. BELIEVE IN YOUR STUDENTS AND GIVE THEM A PLATFORM TO SPEAK THEIR MINDS. THEY WILL ASTOUND, INSPIRE AND MOTIVATE YOU. This time last year, I…

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Dec 03 2013

My first year, re-evaluated

A lot of what has motivated me throughout the past twenty-one years has been the desire to redeem myself for what I considered to be an unacceptable first year of teaching sixth grade math during the 1991-1992 school year at Deady Middle School in Houston. Nowadays, districts pay a $5,000 recruitment fee to TFA for…

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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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Nov 26 2013

My Daughter’s Kindergarten Common Core Math Workbook

The Common Core has hit home for me, literally.  I received from my daughter’s school a kindergarten common core workbook, and, as you might imagine, I have ‘issues’ with it. My daughter’s school, like most schools, is having a budget crisis.  So when I think that these workbooks each retail for about $30, I question…

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After two days of pursuit, I finally found him.  I had never visited anyone in jail before – had never known anyone in jail before.  Most of the people that waited on the visitor’s line with me appeared to be family.  Many were children.  The children didn’t seem to grasp where they were.  Maybe they…

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Nov 23 2013

Join me and Roxanna Elden on Tuesday for a live Spreecast!

A few times a year I host a live internet ‘talk show’ which is a lot of fun.  Most of the old shows were erased by a server crash, but the two I did over the summer episode 5 and episode 6 are still archived if you want to get a sense of what the…

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Nov 22 2013

7 Ways to Immediately Improve Classroom Culture

I wrote this blog post for TeacherPop and received some positive feedback, so I thought I would share it on my own page. Feel free to pass it around. You can access it here. http://teacherpop.org/2013/11/7-ways-to-immediately-improve-classroom-culture/    

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Nov 15 2013

My advice to TFA staffers: Quit For America

The organization of TFA is a bit like a pyramid scheme.  There are a bunch of VPs who are making a lot of money for a non-profit, certainly six figures.  Then there are the majority of staffers, people who work in recruitment, teacher ‘effectiveness’, even the alumni team, IT, etc., who make much less.  But…

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