Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Apr 29 2011

Poetry for a student

I recently gave an assignment in class to write vignettes about transformative life experiences.  When I give those assignments where I ask students to truly share parts of themselves that might be uncomfortable, I always make sure to join in so that they know this is a mutual trust experience. What follows is a spoken word poem I performed for my student in this new unit of poetry, written after I received a vignette from a student of mine.

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Mar 10 2011

A good cause :)

From an email I sent to TFA alumni. If you have any interest in this, or know people who might, PLEASE circulate! “I don’t think it’s fair that other kids get to go talk about politics with people their own age and get involved with their community, but I can’t just because I don’t have…

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Feb 14 2011


I just returned from a massive celebration in Washington D.C., where 11, 000 TFA corps members and alumni gathered to look back and look ahead at the way the education reform movement has (or hasn’t) progressed. And can I tell you something? I am feeling PUMPED. UP. There is something about being part of an…

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Feb 14 2011

Mumbai reflection- backdated Feb 3

My trip to Mumbai was, to say the least, transformational.  I’d like to share with you some insights because I think it’s really important to get it out. Some background info–I was one of 6 TFA CMs chosen to partake in a four-day professional development workshop in Mumbai, India.  Developed by Teach for All, a…

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Dec 21 2010

Groove back

So I’ve finally found my groove. The year has been long already, but I love my kids. Desperately and completely, in spite of everything and BECAUSE of everything and everyday we spend together. I have seen improvement, they have seen improvement, we have grown even if we have also experienced setbacks. It’s truly a learning…

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Lately, I have been getting comfortable. I wonder if comfortable is the right word; complacent might be better suited. Don’t get me wrong–I still work hard enough to be exhausted at the end of each day, staying up at night thinking of ways to teach this writing concept or that writing skill. But I honestly…

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Sep 14 2010


Last year, I would’ve given my left leg to be able to not worry too much about management and only focus on content.  Sure, I was so in over my head worrying about how to make Synquel stop cursing me out and keep desks from flying out the window that the scripted curriculum was a…

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Sep 14 2010

I can smell the fall–it’s coming!

One of the best things about my room this year (aside from finally having window grates so that children cannot throw objects out the third story windows–you laugh, but I had desks, markers, and yes, again, DESKS sailing across the sky last year…) is the fact that it smells PHENOMENAL. I brought in a vast…

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Sep 08 2010

First week thoughts of second year

If you are an English teacher or elective teacher, and even if you are not, I really recommend that you make “Free Write Pre Write” a part of your weekly or daily routine. I have a class of seniors, and they are really disengaged.  Most of them are just in my Creative Writing elective because…

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Sep 05 2010

Time to work!

I have decided that this is a new year, and I need a new tone to this blog. Last year I only came here as a refuge…when my thoughts got to be too much, when I was overflowing with frustration but had no idea how to articulate it until I saw this blank space. But…

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a Teach For America teacher’s blog

Greater Philadelphia

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