Latest posts from Middle School

Inside every classroom, hung up in every common space, and (for all intents and purposes) forged into the hearts of all students at my school are our 7 Non-Cognitive Skills. Things like gratitude, optimism, curiosity, social intelligence. Why do we have them? Our college graduation data is pretty rough. Our kids may or may not…

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Sep 14 2013

My Ceiling is Collapsing

I am a bit ridiculous with emotions sometimes.  For example, I cry through a lot of TV shows (especially season finales).  If it’s about politics I’m probably going to cry and if it’s about fighting for the downtrodden then there’s no doubt the waterworks are coming.  But last Tuesday night I just cried.  Had I…

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As many of you know, my school has no library. It was disbanded about a year ago because there weren’t any staff members with the time to staff it (and there wasn’t money to hire any new staff members) so it was getting pretty disorganized/chaotic. The books were decentralized to every English teacher’s classroom. Of…

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Sep 08 2013

“So, how’s teaching?” (one month down.)

Here I am, a month into my first year of teaching, and it’s hard to sum up what these four weeks have been & encompassed. I went to a party last night with some college friends, and as happens every time I see people I haven’t seen or talked to in a while, I got…

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Aug 29 2013

as the wheels come off the wagon…

The New York Times article of late had some good stuff to say about the “cult of youth” at many high-performing charter schools, and within TFA itself. I see it at my school all the time. It’s led to some interesting water-cooler-type conversations at my school and among my TFA friends (or just friends interested…

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So far, being a third year teacher seems to be mostly about doing all of the things that I was too scared to do in my first two years. For example, yesterday, I died. Not really.  Obviously I’m still at least animated enough to type this blog post. Still, my death did take place during…

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Aug 26 2013

there’s beauty in routine (week 3)

As I get ready to dive into Week 3 I find myself comforted by the routinized procedures, not just of my classroom, but of the way my life works now. I spend all day on Sundays at school – making copies, doing long-term planning, or just hanging out with my fellow teachers. We have an…

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Aug 25 2013

Time to Write

My fingers itch.  I need to write.  Not the stories of the seemingly absurd happenings of my classrooms in years 1, 2 or 3.  Those are anecdotes that in reality I share with thousands of other first, second, and third year teachers.  They are entertaining anecdotes, perhaps self-aggrandizing narratives that avoid telling the horrifying story…

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Aug 19 2013

Things About Institute That Now Make Me Cringe

also known as, things about Institute that really didn’t need to be the way they were.   I’m not sure why I’ve chosen now to write this – maybe because I’m trying to procrastinate on planning for tomorrow, or because I’m feeling emotional because this is the first time in four years I haven’t been a…

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Aug 18 2013

Can Segregation Be #Beautiful?

Earlier in the summer, musical sensations Mariah Carey and Miguel released a collaboration entitled “#Beautiful.” The song had some chart success and created a solid level of buzz for the long-time diva. However, it’s interesting to consider that multiracial backgrounds of the entertainers: Miguel, for example, has a Mexican father and African-American mother. Mariah, on…

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