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Jan 11 2009

Choose Me

I logged into my account last night and saw that a complete stranger had donated $25 toward my new project proposal. They said, “I gave to this project because…History is alive for me, and I want it to be alive for kids.” It gave me an idea… I have posted about before and…

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Jan 09 2009

Now I Know

“If you want to change your target students, now is the time. We only want to focus on the students who will be able to move from basic to proficient. The below basic students should not be targeted.” It bothered me when I heard it. I jotted down a sarcastic note on my scratch paper…

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Dec 11 2008

The Candid Classroom

I took a sick day yesterday in an effort to battle a cold I got last week. My voice is nearly gone, so I figured I could teach better if I could actually talk. The kids were going on a field trip anyways, so I wasn’t really missing any valuable time. When I came back…

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Dec 04 2008

The Last Hour

I had a good teaching day today – not great, but good. My lessons were sub-par and the students could tell. But it was going smoothly…until the last hour. It always gets me – I think the day is over and then bamn! it’s not over. The kids get so out of control and anxious…

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Nov 20 2008

A Very Good Day

Today was something special. Actually, this whole week has been something of a miracle. Somehow, my students have started to pay attention. They listen. They ask questions. They finish their work in class. I had a near perfect day today – so I ask myself, “Has something changed? Or was this some fluke?” I’m hoping…

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Nov 19 2008

Donors Choose

I am just starting two new units with my 7th and 8th graders. I find myself with a renewed vigor every time I start fresh with a new curriculum – I get kind of tired of the same topic for too long. I find my mood ebbs and flows according to our topics each week…kind…

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Nov 10 2008

Thoughts on 11/10/08

A few things to remember from today: – Bringing a rolly suitcase and shovel on the bus to work – Hatching the idea of a field trip to the Presidential Inauguration – Students staying after school to work on their culture projects in my room – Digging holes in an empty lot with my student…

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Nov 09 2008

Brick by brick

The election is over. I really don’t know what to do with my free moments. Every morning was the same – I looked at the most recent polls on my bus ride to work. Every afternoon, I peeked at New York Times online and read an article to satiate my curiosity. Then I would tune…

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Nov 01 2008

Room 701

I am entering my second month of teaching and I can’t imagine where to begin. There are so many stories to tell, so many funny scenarios to relive – I just don’t even know what to tell first. Before getting to the stories, I thought I would give you the context. A quick tour of…

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Oct 08 2008


Today was a good day. I taught my seventh grade US History class about the decline of the buffalo in the midwest following the arrival of Europeans. The story of the buffalo can be closely linked to the story of American Indians – slowly being pushed further and further away and toward a less and…

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Sep 08 2008

Day One

Today was the big day. At the beginning of each class period, I asked everyone to go around and ‘check-in’ using one word to describe how they were feeling on the first day back to school. I said ‘Ready.’ Now at home, sitting amongst piles of papers and sorting through what seems like endless forms…

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Jun 11 2008


I just got my first teaching job offer! If things stay constant, I will be teaching 7th or 8th grade Social Studies at Discovery Charter School in the West Parkside area of Philadelphia. I am thrilled!  Let me catch you up. Teach for America guarantees a job when you enter the program, but there is still a…

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Jun 11 2008

One Way

I just bought a one-way ticket to Philadelphia.  It really all began last year, as I started to seriously ponder my next move, post-graduation. I knew I was interested in exploring the intersections between education and politics, but my role in that complex field was still unclear. It was quite obvious to me, though, that…

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a Teach For America teacher’s blog

Greater Philadelphia
Middle School
Social Studies

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