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Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

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Aug 17 2010

Year 4, day 1

When I really think that this is my 4th year at my school, it boggles my mind. I was thinking about all the teachers at my school and there are only 5 classroom teachers, 2 specials teachers, 2 coaches, 2 title 1 teachers and 1 support staff who have been there longer than I have.…

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Aug 13 2010

Classroom prep

I got a new classroom this year, and I must admit that I got downgraded big time. I’m in a classroom with no windows, about 2/3 of the size of my last room. I am in the front hallway, 2 doors past the office, so we get a lot of traffic walking past. I am…

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Jun 24 2010

Final Day – Year 3

Year 3 ended with a whimper rather than a bang, as usual. I had an impromptu pizza party with the 10 students who showed up followed by a Michael Jackson dance party. I stayed after to clean up my classroom and hold parent teacher conferences. I had an all-time low turnout of 2. Two. Yes.…

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Jun 23 2010

Times they are a-changin.

Today was field day, which basically just erupted into a giant water-war thanks to the assistant principal. There was a time when he and a few other teachers were standing on the roof of the school throwing water balloons down on the crowd of kids below. It was hysterical! He made a few rules which…

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Jun 23 2010

Times they are a-changin.

Today was field day, which basically just erupted into a giant water-war thanks to the assistant principal. There was a time when he and a few other teachers were standing on the roof of the school throwing water balloons down on the crowd of kids below. It was hysterical! He made a few rules which…

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Jun 14 2010

I have sadly neglected my teaching blog. My free time, once consumed by teaching things, has once again become my own. At the end of my third year as a teacher I feel like I finally have a balance between work and life. If I wasn’t able to create this balance then I don’t think…

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Nov 14 2009

3rd time’s the charm

We have a handful of school days left before Thanksgiving. The honeymoon is long over, but at this point the kids know the expectations and proceedures so little time is wasted doing the things that drive teachers crazy. I’m loving my students at this point in the year. I do have a couple of kids…

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Aug 31 2009

I think I won. I know it’s sounds silly that I feel like I have been in an epic battle for control of my classroom between J.C. and myself and I won. Today she wrote on her assignment (after she finished it early, by the way) “Ms. D is my best friend!” I was so…

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Aug 19 2009

The best teaher evner!

I hate this part of the year. I’ve gotten through 3 days and it is making me realize how lucky I was last year. I should have looped with my students from last year. I miss them dearly. I hate the monotony of going over rules, proceedures, rules, proceedures, rules, proceedures over and over until…

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So I gave my third grade students the end of second grade math assessment that I’ve given my students each year. Once again they bombed it hard. I have identified 6 students who have a good grasp on most 2nd grade skills and will be fine once I brush off the summer rust. That leaves…

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Aug 17 2009

Day 1, Year 3

I began this year very relaxed and not nervous in the slightest. After my two years as a teacher I feel like I have experienced (and survived) every single crazy situation that could possibly come my way. I felt confident that any strange situation that might pop up would not be any match for the…

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Aug 11 2009

3rd year teaching 3rd grade

I’m officially a TFA Alumni, and I just graduated from my master’s degree program this weekend. I am returning to teach the same grade at the same school. Yesterday the new year began (no kids yet, just teachers) and I was absolutely dreading going into school. However, once I got there I was very happy…

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Jan 08 2009

SRI success

We took the SRI test today to gauge reading lexile score. My understanding (from TFA) is that an improvement of 100 points would be the equivalent of a year’s growth. With that understanding, 150-200 points growth is a good TFA style goal for reading improvement. My class’ average growth so far this year is 116…

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Jan 05 2009

Halfway done with the second year and I haven’t cried once! It’s really remarkable how much better this year is and how much I am enjoying my students. I had 6 who didn’t show up for school today, including my two trouble makers, so it was a very peaceful day. I spent some time this…

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Dec 06 2008

Ice Skating

I took 3 students to the annual St Louis TFA ice skating party and it was so much fun, once again. We stayed until the afternoon to skate with Santa. The kids were beside themselves, they just LOVED holding Santa’s hand and skating around the rink with them. It is amazing to me how quickly…

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Dec 04 2008

Blast from the past

I was looking through my computer files and I read this from about 2 years ago when I was applying for TFA. It made me realize how much my life has changed in that time. Teach For America: Essay As an undergraduate at Michigan State University, much of my energy was focused into organized student…

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Dec 02 2008

Damage control

I’m concerned. Everyday I am more and more convinced that my one problem student has some serious problem that is even deeper than I imagined. I think he was really mad at me because I told him after his 3rd time out that he needed to get rid of his scowl before joining the class.…

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Dec 01 2008

Scandinavia was great!

I was in Stockholm and Oslo last week. As much as I tried to relax and simply focus on being on vacation, my mind always went back to my students. In museum gift shops I was always browsing the kids book section. (I bought 3 books for them, one on Vikings, one with great photographs…

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Nov 13 2008


I have this one student that I am just at a loss about how to help. His academics are just SO low. In all areas he is performing at a pre-K level. He is 10 years old and in 3rd grade, already the 2nd oldest in the class. His mom has told me on the…

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Nov 10 2008

I need to vent

I realize that I haven’t posted in months, but today was just such a crazy day that I can’t help it. First – 12 teachers were out today…unexpectedly. Since we don’t really have subs at our school this meant that I had a blended class, including 9 extra students, putting my total to 35 (a…

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Sep 28 2008

I love teaching math

I returned to school on Wednesday after 2 days of jury duty and was pulled aside by my principal. “I like what you are doing in math.” “Thanks, but I’m only following the curriculum.” “Oh, well, I liked what you did last year.” “Thank you, I love teaching math.” “Perfect, you are our new K-3…

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Sep 14 2008


Todd and I took the plunge. We are going to Stockholm and Oslo for a week in November. We’ve heard it’s not the best time to travel there, as the days are short and cold but not yet snowy and picturesque. However, we are heeding the warning and traveling there anyway. I’m planning to take…

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Sep 11 2008

Year two is great

This year is infinitely more easy than last year. Part of me believes that I have an easier group of students. The other part thinks I’ve grown so much as a teacher that I am more prepared and command more respect and control of my classroom. I reached a point where I LIKE my students…

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Aug 27 2008

I thought somebody died!

About 15 minutes before the doors to the school are open and the kids are unleashed into the hallways I was working in my room. I turned around and one of my students, T.C. was standing right behind me. I am a nervous person, so I gasped and jumped back. I laughed and said, “you…

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Aug 26 2008

Umm….can he read?

I had a student who is a behavior problem sent to my room today by my lead teacher. It’s funny, I feel like as soon as I send one out, I get another one back in. This child brought a worksheet with him and refused to do it. First he said he had no pencil.…

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An Elementary School Teacher in the Show Me State

St. Louis
Elementary School
Elementary Education

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