A Modern Bildungsroman

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jan 25 2012

Vocabulary Lessons

So I’ve finally started to intensely do vocabulary lessons after….well….months of not being sure how (or when) to incorporate vocabulary into my daily lessons.  Because, Law and Order voice: In the English Language Arts classroom, curriculum is divided into three separate, but equally important, parts: grammar, reading, and writing.  And trying to fit direct vocabulary…

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Jan 20 2012


What could make my Friday better than receiving this note from a student? Dear Miss ####, I know I’m not the brightest or smartest student but I do make an effort.  I’m sorry for not actually trying in the past.  I know I’m doing good now and I would love to keep that up.  Thank…

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Jan 19 2012

Sick Day

Yesterday, I stayed after school to help with some extra math prep for the middle school students.  (I haven’t taken a math class since high school, but it all comes back very quickly).  I worked with a student who currently has a D in my class because of missed major assignments and homework; she does…

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Jan 11 2012

The 5 Stages of TFA

Okay, I think I’m going to need to preface this one.  I’m about to write the TFA version of the Kubler-Ross model.  Now, this analogy has to be taken with a grain of salt, because what CMs go through isn’t exactly a grieving process.  BUT it’s survival mode for the first year, and it requires…

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Jan 03 2012

And it’s 2012…

I’m going to try to avoid the “New Year’s Teacher Resolutions” theme that I was originally leaning towards for this post, because A) it might get me down about the state of some of my classes, B) calling something a “resolution” doesn’t add any meaning to it, and C) I’ve never been good at keeping…

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Dec 21 2011

Today’s Quote

At the end of the day: “Miss, you leavin’?  You goin’ home to see your boyfriend?  Miss, what if you get home and there’s a big dinner on the table, and he made it, and then he brings out a ring and pops the question?” Part of me wants to show up with a big…

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…Not.  Or, as my students might say, PSYCH!  Seriously.  I think it’s a combination of the lack of snow (this will be my first non-white Christmas) and the fact that TFA has essentially ruined my sense of time.  It’s like I’m in some other universe where the typical laws of common courtesy and common sense…

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Dec 17 2011

Parent-Teacher Conferences

This week, my school had parent-teacher conferences, which I I was nervous about (do you sense a theme here, with the debate and parent conferences?  Oh right, anxiety-producing).  A significant chunk of my classes earned D’s and F’s because of a combination of no homework turn-in, unruly classroom behavior, and missing major assignments.  Part of…

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Dec 12 2011


I am currently reclining on my couch eating the very burnt chocolate chip cookies my roommate made and watching Teen Mom 2. Honestly, I can think of no better way to unwind after today.  My mind is racing with so many thoughts.  Did Chelsea’s dad really just tow Adam’s car?  (Good for him).  Is Jenelle…

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Dec 11 2011

A Little Humor Never Hurts

The morning after trying to get out of the parking lot quickly after a long day… Student: MISS, you almost ran me over yesterday! Me:  Well, Alicia, you didn’t do your homework all of last week. Student:  MISS! Me:  Like I said, you didn’t do any of your homework!  What other choice did I have?…

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