Latest posts from Los Angeles

Feb 23 2014

Badges: Persistence

A conversation I had with one of my students (B) during math office hours on Thursday keeps replaying in my head.  He’s one of my A students who, for several months, was aiming for (and earning) 100% in my class.  He was struggling with an exercise on KhanAcademy, not because he didn’t know it, but…

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Feb 02 2014

Consequences and Controlling Your Classroom

This school year has been rough on me.  Like every year, I have an incredible group of students.  However, this year’s group needs a lot of extra love and patience in ways that can, at times, be wearing on a teacher that already pours every ounce of their day into loving their children.  So as…

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Oct 31 2013

I Quit Teach for America Too

About a month ago, a former TFA corps member named Olivia Blanchard published this superb recounting of her time in the corps in The Atlantic.  Absolutely everything in the article resonated with me, and much of what she says I wish I had written myself in my first Teach for Us post .  And as is the…

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  To most readers of the blogs on the Teach for Us website, Gary Rubinstein is best known for his critiques of Teach for America’s training model and ed reformers’ miracle school claims.  It was his posts on education reform that originally inspired me to start my own blog here.  As an author on education,…

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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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I’ve never put too much stock in the idea that TFA recruits and young charter school teachers enter education for the resume padding; I think the job simply requires too much commitment and passion for a resume boost to be the primary motivator.  Everyone that I know who went into TFA or who worked for…

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Aug 28 2013

Old Interview Prep Packet from TFA Los Angeles ’07

This past weekend I was going through all of my old teaching documents, looking for anything that could help me as I get ready to start the new school year. During my organization effort, I came across a packet of Teach for America Los Angeles prep materials from 2007  for our placement interviews at LA…

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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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Diane Ravitch is one of my favorite authors and thinkers on education.   In “The Death and Life of the Great American School System,” she weaves rock-solid case against No Child Left Behind and the test-based accountability movement.  Unfortunately, the wisdom of her ideas are often drowned out by those who are more adept at…

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With the early end of the 2012-2013 school year at my old school, I’ve had an extra long period this summer without work. I decided to use my time (and savings) to pay a visit to my old schools in Japan, and spend a couple of weeks visiting friends in the cities of Osaka, Kobe,…

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