Latest posts from Mississippi Delta

Oct 21 2013

Teaching the Achievement Gap

There are four responsibilities: 1) teach sixth grade, 2) plan professional development for 21 first year teachers (and begin to plan summer training for 35 new first year teachers), 3) complete three grad classes this semester, including an internship, and 4) train for a half marathon in a month, full marathon in February. There is…

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Oct 10 2013

Slate Magazine Article

At the end of the school day, I received an e-mail from AK directing me to a Slate Magazine article entitled “Why I Stopped Writing Recommendation Letters for Teach For America.”  I had some immediate reactions and I’ll try to keep it brief. 1) Hopefully my peers in the Delta would agree that education policy…

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Oct 09 2013

Where Men Wear Skinny Jeans

It cost me both of my personal days but I’m on an American Airlines flight 30 something thousand feet above Arkansas with a flight attendant who looks strangely like Emma Stone offering me Dr. Pepper feeling simply awesome. The chance to blog, to sit quietly not talking about school, and splurge on a spontaneous trip…

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Oct 06 2013

Sometimes I Forget

This morning I lived the life I might have 10 months from now. I woke up just a mile from downtown little rock, in SoMa. Pulled on my running shoes and brushed my teeth. Started out. Feet pounded the first mile to the Marriott, former Peabody, then turned right toward the Clinton Center. Smiled at…

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Sep 27 2013

Bare Feet

Shoeless. Walmart mom pants hiked up past the belly button, khaki, with suspenders over a boys’ 14-16 blue button down church shirt. Women’s navy tank top turned vest, a straw fedora whose Budwiser embroidery was removed with force 12 hours previous. Barefoot. Beside: all the same, but with less material and red checks instead of…

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Sep 27 2013

The Power of a Piece of Paper

This week, I saw students who were truly proud of themselves because of a piece of paper. They analyzed their data, revised their hypothesis about their planes, and re-built them in hopes of their new designs flying further.  We ran a final test and declared the “winner”. The morning of our final tests I came…

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Sep 17 2013


Most of the corps members in my town are sick. There are 11 of us all down and out with colds, the stomach flu, tonsillitis, strep, sinus infections, allergies, and plain old exhaustion. We are a falling army, the bright smiles and never quit attitudes slowly fading into crumpled teachers passing out anywhere there’s space.…

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Sep 11 2013

Four Years Missing, Four Years Thriving

I woke up this morning knowing I had slept deep and well all six hours. After tracking my sleep patterns for the first three week of school, I’ve learned that for me, five hours of sleep is just as good as eight. It feels good to not feel guilty for not sleeping enough anymore. At…

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Sep 07 2013

Picking up Paper Clips.

This past week (although short) was crazy in Room 116.  We are becoming designers and engineers and this week my students were designing and building their very own paper air planes. Basically, I spent the week frantically shuffling from group to group helping them interpret their research articles, asking them to revise their hypothesis over…

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Sep 05 2013

The Sum of Parts

For the first time today my voice was shrill as I walked my second class back to my room from the library. I had already removed talking students and consolidated them as a first warning, but they would not let up. Eventually I told a student he had a D-Hall. It’s the first negative consequence…

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