Latest posts from Chicago

Jul 09 2013

Thoughts on Finishing TFA

SourceURL:file://localhost/Users/alymak/Desktop/final%20tfa%20post.doc For my final Teach for America meeting, I had to answer the question: “What would you tell yourself two years ago?” My message to myself began with “you are stupid, ignorant, and naive.” I have come so far from my bushy-tailed college graduate self and I have learned so much that it often feels…

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Apr 30 2013


Where have I been? Nowhere new.  I have so many mini stories, heartbreaking stories, funny stories about the things kids say and the way they think and I honestly wish I had been keeping up with this blog so I could share them with all of you, instead of just my parents..though sometimes I’m pretty…

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Feb 25 2013

Ring of Hope

This week had been one of those weeks. Amidst the Chicago Public Schools strike, hearing about thousands of teachers fighting for their rights, it was business as usual at my charter school. I found myself waking up at the crack of dawn, dreading what was to come. The weather dropped arguably 20 degrees overnight, it…

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Jan 02 2013

Thank you

I’m from a small county in Virginia and that’s where I went for the holidays this year. Despite it’s size, it’s one of the wealthiest counties for it’s size in the nation and the public schools are amazing. I think I’ve mentioned before how lucky I am to have lived where I lived, and attended…

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Nov 29 2012

Look me in the eye

I’ve been ignoring this blog for awhile, for no other reason than I’ve been up to my eyeballs in red tape and assessments and long-term plans, short term plans, visions, and observations. Is that a good enough excuse? Anyways, I’m not doing well, in fact I’m doing pretty shitty. I’m  sure sometimes everyone feels like…

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Oct 12 2012

Room to Think

My corps experience pretty much goes like this: work around the clock while eating, sleeping, and breathing teaching, then have a break and recollect my thoughts. Right now I’m on fall break so my thoughts seem clear and I finally have a chance to think. In doing so I have been thinking about my opinions…

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Oct 12 2012

My Way or The Highway

When I was young, I spent most of my childhood playing school. I would make up worksheets, have fake parent-teacher conferences, grade fake papers. I went above and beyond as a ten year old, literally  completing a test for each imaginary kid. But that’s how I’ve always been: I didn’t do things the way people…

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Oct 04 2012

August 21st-October 3rd

Wow. I can hardly catch my breath. How does any human accomplish all of the things that I’m expected to accomplish right now? I have officially left the “honeymoon” phase; the kids are showing some dark sides, and mine is starting to come out.  I don’t know how many times I told myself before the…

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Sep 17 2012


I’m having trouble motivating my kids. I’m getting so exhausted repeating myself all the time. Repeating instructions, repeating rules, repeating expectations and constantly expecting a different result…isn’t that the definition of insanity?   I guess it’s only the 2nd week…

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Sep 10 2012


A scrambled and somewhat incomplete recap of observations and thoughts coming from a first-year CM/CPS teacher on the first (last?) day of the CTU strike in Chicago. My school is very pro-Union. During my first union meeting this summer, before a strike date had even been set, teachers were talking angrily in the meetings and…

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