Latest posts from Greater Newark

Dec 30 2013

“Is Mr. Heisinger’s class hard?”

It’s winter break, and I’m sitting at my old home in the northern suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, reflecting on my first 4 months of teaching. Recently, my homework completion rate—which miraculously rose to 80-90% at the beginning of October—has gone back down to about 25-30%, and I’ve found myself making excuses for why I can’t…

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Oct 04 2013

“Nah Mister. I don’t do homework.”

In my first month on the job, I’ve already heard all kinds of stories about the disaster zone that was Barringer High School in years prior.  With horror stories from students pulling fire alarms multiple times each week to riots in the parking lot to students organizing fistfights against staff members, the Barringer of yesteryear––to say…

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Jun 09 2013

Impending… Induction.

In nine days, I start Induction in Newark, NJ.  So many feelings. In all honesty, this is the first time I’m moving away from home in any permanent sort of way.  Going to college only a 20 minute drive from my family was incredibly convenient.  Even though I didn’t go home every weekend like some…

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Jun 09 2013


Some things I still need to get used to: Being (and introducing myself as) “Miss Mason.” Being asked permission to go to the bathroom The spontaneous barrages of personal questions (and determining whether or not I should answer them) [EDIT: I started writing this blog post in February, and realized I left it as a…

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Apr 19 2013

Well, that went quickly.

I had intended to post here about my experience student teaching at least once a week. My last post was a rather depressing one, regarding my questioning my effectiveness as a teacher and wondering what I could do to reach my students.  Weeks later, I sit here at my desk knowing that today is my…

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Apr 07 2013

Spring Break, or, Why I Worked All Break

Tonight is the last night of my spring break, and the last day I will have off (besides weekends, which barely count ;)) until June 28.  There is much to be said. First off, the short answer to the question “Srta. D, why did you work over your spring break?” is because I needed some…

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Feb 23 2013

Have I failed them already?

Two weeks. I’ve been teaching them for only two weeks, and I’m terrified that I’m doing something dreadfully wrong. Today they took their unit exam for The Canterbury Tales.  The average score on the objective portion of the test (25 questions, multiple choice and matching) was 63%.  At our school, 70% is the cutoff for…

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Feb 08 2013


My observation days are over. It was an interesting day to start teaching, but I’m trying to go with the flow.  It’s spirit week, 2nd block was a pep rally, and we got out early today because of the projected snow coming with Nemo.  In the midst of all that, though, I finally got to…

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Jan 25 2013

First Full Week

Mr. T taught this week.  He chose the role of the disciplinarian in establishing the classroom expectations.  I know he is doing this so the students will welcome me more readily, but the hostile classroom atmosphere worries me a little.  Students openly discuss their dislike of him.  At the same time, he reminds me of…

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Jan 21 2013


My food for thought today: “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education. ” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

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