Lessons and Learnings

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

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Apr 19 2013

Why, hello, 2013s!

Hard to believe that a year ago I found out I had gotten into Teach for America.  Actually, I think it was a year ago this week.  I remember the criticism, the anger from my family that I would do this, the fear of not knowing what the classroom would hold.  I would read critics…

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Feb 20 2013

The Reality of Teaching in City Schools

TFA tells us to aim for 80% mastery and we can change the life of every student.  And maybe we can.  But the reality is, if I get 60% mastery, it is a great day.  The reality is despite hours of conversations, time spent during school and after school talking to kids about making the…

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Sep 11 2012

September 11

Today one of my students said to me, “Hey, you know what tomorrow is, right?  It’s 9/11.”  Another pipped and said, “Yeah, can you take us to NY to see the site?”  I didn’t know what to say and it hit me.  They were so young.  4, maybe 5 years old and they hear about…

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Aug 15 2012


In my last job, I got to work between 9:30 and 10:30 everyday.  I woke up between 7 and 8 and hit the road around 9 or 9:30.  Now I find myself leaving around 6:30 which means waking up at 5 so I can make it to New Teacher Institute on time.  I know the…

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Jul 04 2012

Institute…Well into Week 2

If you are thinking about joining TFA and are placed in institute over the 4th of July, just be aware that doesn’t mean a holiday.  We had to attend sessions this morning and then the afternoon is for planning.  I did take a 3 hour drive to get out of Philly for a bit but…

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Jun 26 2012


It took me about 4 days to finish this post.  What can I say?  It’s been one of those experiences… I hate reflection.  Seriously, I hate it.  Reflection makes me overanalyze and overanalyzing causes me to stress and stress causes me to stop sleeping and lack of sleep makes me burst into tears very quickly. …

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May 24 2012

The Teacher I Want to Be

Through my own lack of know, I realized several weeks ago that I needed to complete 2 classroom visits/observations.  I quickly contacted my TFA contact in Baltimore and asked for the names of science education science teachers in the area.  With school ending, I knew I was down to the wire in terms of completing…

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So this one time I hit a four-foot planter…in a Beetle.   Not just any Beetle…Her name is Betty and she is a blue 2007 VW Bug.  My dream car and my graduate school graduation present.  I received her nearly 3.5 years before I graduated because I was driving a Chevy Blazer that was dying a…

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Apr 17 2012

Wait, You’re Doing WHAT?!?

In 2003, I graduated a semester early from college.  I packed up my car and headed home where a job waited for me at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  Finally!  I was on my way to establishing a life long career as a scientist.  I would cure cancer!  I had the whole world in…

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