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Aug 21 2008

Ms. D: There is one more things that we will be studying in social studies this year that is very important. It’s something that is talked about in the news all the time and you can barely put on the TV or radio without hearing about this. Girl student: Ooooh! I know! It’s a rapist!…

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Aug 20 2008

I expected this to happen and school is getting tougher. Still, nowhere near a worst day yet, but give it some time. I have one student who is obsessed with bodily fluids and today he: 1) spit on his desk and then played with it using his fingers 2) burped really loudly 5 times 3)…

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Aug 18 2008

Day 1, year 2

My biggest regret last year was not taking the time to record my feelings the first few weeks of school. In an effort to right that mistake, I plan to write more regularly this year. Unlike last year, I had an amazing first day. Yes, it was chaotic. Lunch was 3 hours late. The buses…

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Aug 17 2008

The second year

I have 9 hours before I have to be at school and ready to go for my 29 students. I am nervous, but not as nervous as last year. I don’t think I’ll burst into tears this year. I have a plan for the day with about a dozen back-up activities planned just in case…

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Aug 16 2008

The calm before the storm

With my room 99.5% complete I want to post pictures. I am doubtful that my room will ever look this nice again, but a girl can dream, can’t she? I am going to have 29 little pairs of hands in just 48 hours and I plan to put them all to work keeping us organized.…

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Aug 13 2008

I’ve been back to work this week setting up my classroom. Somehow I got the biggest classroom in the entire building. My principal decreed that all teachers must have a theme in their classroom, and after some grumbling I decided upon “Around the world in 200 days.” (We have 200 school days at my school.)…

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Jul 29 2008


After a long summer of grad school classes, I am spending one more week learning how to become a better teacher at the Children’s Literacy Institute in Philadelphia (free for 28 second year corps members!). I’m getting some great ideas and I am looking forward to going back to St. Louis to begin the challenging…

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Jun 28 2008

The last day of the first year

My first year as a teacher ended with more of a whimper than a bang. I remember the last day of school as a child was a day of hugs, exchanging phone numbers, signing yearbooks and the perfect celebration to the end of a school year. Out of my 26 students, only 6 showed up…

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May 21 2008

Blood Drive

Today our school had a blood drive. I have been donating blood since I was 17 years old, but the past few times I either passed out, or came close to passing out. I haven’t donated blood in 2 years and the memory of how scary it was to feel so weak made me nervous.…

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May 19 2008

We closed on the house on Friday so we are officially home-owners. I had the worst nightmare the night after signing the paperwork that I lost my job and we still had this mortgage to pay for. It woke me up at 4:30 and I was so scared that I was unable to go back…

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May 13 2008

Significant Gains

The term significant gains is thrown around by TFA, and it’s pretty much The Ultimate Goal – Making at least 1.5 years growth in 1 school year. I had my end of year meeting last year and I am happy to announce that my reading class has made 1.8 years growth. I have the reading…

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May 11 2008

The Move

I hate packing. We are closing on our house in 5 days and moving in 13 days. We are nowhere near being ready to move. I need to get off my butt and start packing. (And so do you, T!) The one good thing about moving is that we won’t have to move again for…

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May 10 2008

The day after the last blog post M.H.’s mother called the assistant principal and chewed her out for the suspension. The mom told the assistant principal to “shut the f*** up” and was asked to come and withdraw her children from the school, which she did. Then she threatened a law suit since I apparently…

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May 01 2008

The Government is Here!

The Governor of Missouri came to our school today. It was a big deal, and despite the last minute notice, I think it went very well. My students were in gym class during the visit and the bill signing so they didn’t get to see any of the action, but they were outside when his…

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Apr 19 2008

The end is near

The MAP test is over. I have no way to really tell how my students did, but from looking over their shoulders over the past 2 weeks I am confident that we did fine. The test had no surprises and everything on the test was something covered in class. I was beaming with pride when…

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Apr 06 2008

In escrow

This weekend my husband and I placed and offer on a house and were accepted. We are thrilled. Beyond thrilled! The house was built in 1869, but was recently completely renovated. Everything was gutted and redone except for the floors and fireplaces. It is gorgeous, and the perfect first house for us. It has 2…

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Apr 03 2008

I flinched

D.C. was back to his old tricks again, but I had adult witnesses this time. He was upset because he lost his recess due to poor behavior in the cafeteria. During independent reading he scribbled in a book from my classroom library so I took the book away from him. At that point he stood…

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Apr 02 2008

I finally have the scores for my reading class’ March benchmark test: 85% class average. Granted, I do have the highest reading group in 3rd grade, but that is a 19% increase from last month’s scores. Pretty impressive!

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Apr 01 2008

Mahatma Ghandi

After reading a story to my students about Cesar Chavez, I asked my students if they could think of anybody else that believes in non-violent protest to things that are unfair. I expected them to resond with Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks. One of my 9 year old students raised her hand. I called…

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Mar 28 2008

Today I showed my reading group some samples of actual 3rd graders’ answers on the writing portion of the MAP test. When I showed them an example of a 4, their jaws dropped and they were silent. With only 6 days left until the big test day, they were concerned that their writing ability would…

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Mar 26 2008

Math centers

I attempted math centers for the first time with my class today. It didn’t go too terribly. I mean, there was no blood, so that’s positive, isn’t it? I had a money center, a dice center, a clock center, a cards center, a geometry center and a game center. I also got my talking globe…

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Mar 25 2008


Tomorrow I get student number 27 in my class. 25 was the perfect number, 26 was too many, so I have no idea how I will manage with 27. A parent demanded that her daughter be pulled out of her current class and enter mine. That makes the 2nd time this year that has happened…

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Mar 23 2008

11 days ’til MAP

Tomorrow I go back to school after 9 days of spring break. Will the students remember anything? I feel like I’ve been on break for half a lifetime. This will also mark 11 instructional days until the MAP test. I graded their practice tests this weekend and lordy lordy are we in horrible shape. I…

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Mar 20 2008

Adopt a classroom

I started a profile on the adopt-a-classroom website a few weeks ago and it was the best thing I ever did. I cannot believe how lucky I am to have such wonderful friends and family. So far I have had $1125 donated to my classroom. I can spend this money in any way that I…

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Mar 11 2008

Staying put

My husband and I met with a realtor last night. We are going to spend spring break looking at houses in St. Louis. I am excited about the prospect of owning a 100+ year old house (which is 8 years younger than how old my students think I am). I envision living in St. Louis…

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An Elementary School Teacher in the Show Me State

St. Louis
Elementary School
Elementary Education

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