Latest posts from Elementary Education

Feb 02 2014

Dropping the Ball

I made a huge mistake yesterday and it all started with our peewee basketball tournament. I’ve been coaching pee wee for what feels like one billion years (okay, just 4 months) and have slowly picked up a few other roles along the way: designated inhaler holder, scorekeeper, and shuttle service to and from practices and…

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Jan 30 2014


by Beyonce I’m working on this curriculum (hint it has to do with Beyonce) and I’m thinking a lot about innovation. I’m also thinking about interrupting. Before I joined TFA I did anti-violence work including trying to keep kids away from commercial sex trafficking. One of my 75 million projects is to develop this anti-trafficking…

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Jan 26 2014


I haven’t been writing that much this year. The main reason is that I’ve been applying to medical schools, and the time commitment of writing all those applications, sending them in, following up, and interviewing at various places has been absolutely exhausting. I just haven’t had time. I’m not doing as good a job as…

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Jan 08 2014

No Lie (in the words of 2 Chainz)

It is a rare occasion that people from “the outside” observe my classroom. So when they roll around, TFA observations make me all kinds of anxious and uncomfortable. Will I hear the dreaded words “apathetic and unruly” in a debrief or suddenly feel compelled to narrate the crap out of my students? All things are…

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Dec 25 2013

I know this much to be true

Tomorrow I know that I will walk into a Waffle House I’ve never been to and eat alone in the company of other people who have nowhere to be on Christmas. I know what I’ll order. I know that I’ll feel guilty for eating there when the waitresses have families at home. I know I’ll…

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Dec 21 2013


I told myself I couldn’t go to sleep until I posted something. So now its 2:17 AM, I’ve watched three episodes of ESPN’s 30 for 30, and have nothing written. Hello Christmas break, I love you already. All I can say is that my life feels simultaneously perfect and in shambles. On the one hand,…

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Dec 15 2013

Just a Moment

by Nas Let us all have a Beyonce moment. Let us all drop something unexpectedly beautiful on the world. Let us create and create and create and share about our loves and our loses. Let’s love and honor our bodies, let’s push ourselves to understand how powerful women are. Let’s do something different, something people…

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Dec 12 2013

meanwhile at lunch bunch today…

James: Hey Damien, did you hear that Nelson Mandela died? Damien: Yeah, he died at the age of 95 James: Yeah, he died in Johannesburg Damien: Yeah, did you hear the speech Obama made about him? LOL, I dropped my McDonalds snack wrap. My aspiring political scientists. They are only in the 3rd grade <3

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Nov 26 2013

I Know I Can

by Nas This song is really the perfect metaphor for hip-hop pedagogy.  Why? Peep this video Also – you’ll hear some follow up from last weeks conversation as the role of teacher as instructor and “inspirer.” It’s cool to be a good instructor, but it’s a game changer to be a real teacher – someone…

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Nov 15 2013

Video Killed The Radio Star

- The Buggles So I made a video. I’m just trying to talk to kids about their rights in the classroom and maybe share some math hacks. We should teach empowered students. We’ll see where the channel goes, but here’s the premiere!

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