Latest posts from Los Angeles

Jun 15 2012

TFA Staff: The Disconnect from Life in the Trenches

On my list of books that have defined the way I think about education, Diane Ravitch’s “The Death and Life of the Great American School System” is high up.  She effectively eviscerates No Child Left Behind and the movement to base teacher evaluations and compensation on student test scores.  It was therefore no small joy…

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Jun 14 2012

Institute: Reality vs. “Positive Messaging”

I received an email this morning from the TFA recruiting director at my alma mater.  He wanted alums to like the university’s TFA page on Facebook and give advice to new corps members about to start institute.  I was excited to give any advice to help new corps members avoid the disasters of my first…

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Jun 13 2012

Two ideas on how to improve the institute experience

Institute is beginning soon for 2012 corps members, and I want to wish all new CMs good luck. I’d like to offer some quick thoughts on how TFA can improve its institutes, and brief suggestions on where corps members can turn if they don’t feel like they are getting what they need out of the…

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Jun 12 2012

Why I quit TFA after my first year

In 2007, I began teaching elementary school in Los Angeles, in what I expected to be the beginning of a long career.  I had always intended to go far beyond the two year commitment, and joined TFA primarily to be a part of the community, or the “movement” as it’s often called.  I never expected…

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Jun 08 2011

Our Big Goal Math Haikus

Today I asked my students to write me a haiku for their warm up about their goal as they are working towards 80% or higher on their final exams.  Below are the ones that worked (or almost got the syllables right). To give some context:  Any student that achieves the big goal will be invited…

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Jun 04 2011

LA Homicide Reports

Sometimes I find myself drawn to the homicide reports in the LAtimes.  I zoom in on the area where my school is located.  It has the largest red circle of the LA metropolitan area (denoting the most homicides this year).  I search the list for names I know, or deaths that are between 12 and…

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Jun 01 2011

What a Year…It Ain’t Over!

It has been over 6 months since I last posted, and in those 6 months, my entire life has changed. First, I was laid off 2 days after Christmas due to budget cuts.  I spent 4 weeks on unemployment feeling like I had hit rock bottom.  How was it that I left a well paying…

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One morning of my first year teaching I walked into my classroom and my heart froze.  All I could think was some one had done this out of spite.  My desks and chairs were strewn everywhere, files and papers that were (somewhat) organized for grading or lessons were in heaps thrown everywhere.  And what truly…

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Feb 07 2011

Teaching Begins

I’ve accepted an offer with Teach For America. Thus begins this blog.

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Jan 20 2011

My 2nd year is almost starting

In 3 more weeks (or maybe 2) school will start again and I will begin the new year as a slightly more seasoned teacher. While the 1st year went by relatively smoothly, it was a great experience and now I have a lot of new techniques and strategies under my belt. I just returned from…

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