Latest posts from Oklahoma

Oct 21 2013

How to fix the education gap (part 2 of several)

One of the reasons I see education devolving to a colonial model rather than a nationalized system is the inability to separate teaching values and culture from math, science, and reading.  No matter what you teach, you’re teaching values and culture. In our school we begin the day by saying the Pledge of Allegiance and…

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Oct 13 2013

How to fix the achievement gap (part 1 of several)

I just made it to October break in my second year.  I thought about saving these ideas up for a final wrap-up at the end of my TFA experience, but I figured, “What the hell!”  Let me provide a little background for my opinions.  That way, Gary What’s-His-Name will know what he’s dealing with if…

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Oct 09 2013


All the little things have been creeping up and it almost caused me to lose my cool today. We’re two days away from Fall Break the kids are ready for some time off. They haven’t had a long weekend since Labor Day and it shows. It’s nothing big- office referrals around the school are still…

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Oct 06 2013

Hey October!

I’m one of those people. You know them — the people who start blogs, write a few times and then disappear forever. I’ve got the half written journals and abandoned sketchbooks to prove it.   Its three months later, Institute is just a memory (and like all memories, I just can’t remember how impossible it…

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Sep 23 2013

A whole new world

This year, I’ve been much less prolific on this site. Even though I find myself with exponentially more free time than I had at this time last year, I come here less and less often. I’m just not driven by the near-manic desire to record and remember every single moment that happens. Because it’s not…

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Sep 20 2013


Being good takes time. How much time? According to Malcolm Gladwell, it takes (on average) 10,000 hours to become proficient at any talent — playing chess, cooking, and yes, teaching. Admittedly, I haven’t read Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, but I would have to agree with this general concept. When we decide to master something, we simply…

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Sep 20 2013


Teaching in an  inner-city school can be heart-wrenching, as many of my colleagues can verify.  This year, my second, the students at my school seem so much more disengaged.  Their behavior is atrocious.  I advocate constantly for my earnest students, but the bad actors take up all the air in the room. Every TFA video…

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Sep 17 2013

My big opportunity

This last weekend I flew to LA to film a minute-long video. It’s part of a contest hosted by a travel company called Jauntaroo and the winner gets to spend one year travelling abroad, blogging and taking photographs as the company’s Chief World Explorer. If I win this contest, I’ll take a year off before…

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Sep 12 2013

Crafting a persona

One of the pieces of advice that I remember hearing over and over at Institute was the need to develop my own personal teacher persona. “Don’t try to be someone else”, they would say. Just develop your own style and your own way of infusing the slew of information we picked up during Institute and…

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Sep 01 2013

What you really wish it said

I spent part of my Labor Day weekend posting grades for the upcoming mid-term progress reports.  It’s hard to believe that next week is our fifth week back in school. The computer system we use for grades gives you a place to put some canned comments in.  It doesn’t let you put in anything you’d…

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