Latest posts from Los Angeles

Dec 17 2012

Will my 2nd grader grow up to be the next U.S. president? Or the next mass murderer?

Wow, it’s been about half a year since my last blog post, and since I’ve joined Teach For America. And no kidding: I’ve really been that busy with teaching. Swamped. I am thoroughly convinced that teachers have the hardest job in the world. And not just because of the insane long hours (which is reason…

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Jul 07 2012

3 things I’ve realized so far from teaching

Teaching is hard.  I have so much mad respect for all my past teachers…there is so much endless, underappreciated, behind-the-scenes work that goes into good teaching. I wanted to take a minute to reflect on 3 things I’ve come to realize from these last few weeks that I personally need to do in order to…

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Jul 04 2012

Choosing to Succeed

Teach for America loves to sugarcoat the first year.  Rather than a realistic portrayal of the challenges that face new corps members, TFA has consistently opted for positive propaganda over reality.  Since reading the blog posts of new corps members entering the corps this year, it has become clear to me that this hasn’t yet…

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Jul 02 2012

Five Years Later: Revisiting Ms. Lora’s Story

Five years ago was the beginning of my strange teaching career that started at the Los Angeles TFA institute and has brought me here to Kobe, Japan.  In that time I’ve read dozens and dozens of books about teaching.  Since starting this blog though, I developed a keen interest in revisiting one of the first…

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Jun 28 2012

Getting.close.to.burnout (but still standing strong).

Just set my wakeup alarm (and some backup alarms) for ~5:20am.  Wow, they weren’t kidding about this summer.  Teaching boot camp.  Granted, I’m viewing life through some dark-colored lenses right now considering I’ve been majorly, majorly sleep-deprived for the last week and a half…so everything seems much worse than it is.  But what good will…

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Jun 27 2012

Japanese Schools: More Down Time and Higher Performance

I’ve been teaching English in Japan for the past two years.  My time here is ending soon, and I’m hoping to make my return to teaching in the US in the fall.  I have a team teaching role in Japan, so I’m looking forward to having my own classroom.  There are a lot of surface…

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During my year teaching with TFA, I taught my group of about twenty-five students for the entire day.  I taught them every subject. For the duration of their fifth grade year, my ability to teach those subjects determined how well my students would learn them.  If I was an incompetent teacher, my incompetence would affect…

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Jun 19 2012

SFA: Substitute For America

After leaving TFA at the end of the 2007-2008 school year, I chose to remain hired by the Los Angeles Unified School District and become a substitute teacher.  Although I had failed to make significant gains with my students as a corps member, I resolved that as a substitute I could at least perform the…

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Jun 17 2012

Better late than never! (I had meant to apply to Teach For America 2 years ago)

Basking in the obnoxiously perfect Southern California weather, I stopped by UCLA’s main commencement ceremony on Friday…and couldn’t help but think of my own college graduation at UCLA 2 years ago.  Back when it was June 11, 2010: I sat in one of those oh-so-elite seats reserved for graduating seniors, and listened to those oh-so-cheesy…

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Jun 17 2012

My uncensored advice to new CM’s in institute

My TFA censorship drama ended yesterday.  The administrator of the facebook page who had censored my posts and banned me from the page, expressed to me in an email that he had gone against his own values and felt very guilty for having done so.   He told me that my voice was welcome and necessary…

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