Latest posts from Houston

Recently, several people have contacted me with interesting stories they wanted to share with the people who read this blog.  In the coming weeks there will be more guest posts like this one from Bryn Mawr College senior Emma Gulley. How Interning for Teach For America Convinced me of its Injustice Over the past several…

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Feb 13 2014

Kane Unable

Harvard professor Thomas Kane recently testified on behalf of the ‘families’ in the Vergera vs. California case.  The plaintiffs in this case seek for the teacher tenure process and the LIFO layoff priorities to be changed in order to ensure that students in California have more of a chance to be taught by an ‘effective’…

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Feb 11 2014

fear itself

As I watched one of the US Olympic figure skaters give her post-routine interview, her words struck me. “I used to be scared. But once I let go of that fear, I really fell in love with this sport.” I’m usually not one for over-analyzing already over-analyzed sport metaphors but something about that idea struck…

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Feb 07 2014

One Hundred Days

Yesterday marked a rather poetic benchmark in my first year. It was the 100th day of school, and also 100 days until the current seniors at my university will graduate. I remember this day a year ago – I hadn’t even interviewed at my current school district yet – and though it was only a…

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Jan 26 2014

How does grit predict teacher retention?

A few days ago, I had the privilege of hearing Angela Duckworth give an hourlong lecture as part of her visit to Houston. A full auditorium’s worth of people braved Snowpocalypse 2014  (yes, Northerners, feel free to judge away) to hear Duckworth’s presentation on the psychology of grit and self-control. Numerous school districts, newspapers, blogs, etc.…

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Jan 24 2014

The Suggestions of the New NY Education Reform Commission

In April, 2012, The New NY Education Reform Commission was created by Governor Andrew Cuomo.  The members of the committee are a diverse group ranging from high profile ‘reformers’ like Waiting For Superman hero Geoffrey Canada to low profile ‘reformers’ like Waiting For Superman villian Randi Weingarten.  They released two reports recently, a 92 page…

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Jan 21 2014

life these days

Barely two weeks in, I can already tell that second semester is shaping up to be much more smooth than first semester. I debated whether or not to go away for MLK Weekend but decided to stay home and relax, a decision that was completely cemented by the absolutely wonderful weekend I had. It had…

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Jan 16 2014

Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Teachers

A rising superstar in education is Rutgers student Stephanie Rivera, who I first wrote about last year.  Stephanie just published a very compelling blog post called To All The Teachers Telling Us To Not Go Into Teaching, Stop.  In response to the recent flood of videos and blog posts by frustrated teachers, Stephanie suggests that…

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As many of you may have gathered from my previous, just-as-impassioned posts on the subject, I am very wary of (borderline dislike) guided notes. That’s a big statement, so I’ll qualify it. I’m wary of their overuse in my school and in the unique teaching situation I’m in. My eighth-graders, some of whom read at…

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Jan 10 2014

a change is gonna come.

A new semester. I stepped in my classroom on Tuesday for the first time in two weeks. I inhaled the Glade air freshener scent (“Aw MISS, why your room always be smellin’ like TREES?”) and breathed in the feeling of new.  This break was all that I needed and so much more, days spent in…

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