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Jan 19 2009

Ron Clark

I was skeptical when I first heard about Ron Clark. He started his career as a teacher in rural North Carolina and then moved to Harlem to teach at a high-poverty, low-performing elementary school. He turned a classroom around and people noticed. We’ve all seen the movies. Dangerous Minds, Stand and Deliver, The Freedom Writers…

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Jan 13 2009

Thank you, Donors

Since posting the last entry, my classroom proposal has been partially funded by 5 people, giving $125 in total! Even the smallest of donations have made all the difference. Thank you to those donors who stopped by and gave $5, $10 and even $50. You are making a difference for me and my classroom. Thank…

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Dec 31 2008


A lot happens in a year. I worked on and completed my history thesis, clocking in at 52 pages, about  multicultural curriculum in the 1980′s (you don’t want to read it) I graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in History & Political Science (and a minor in Education) I taught summer school for 4 weeks…

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Dec 22 2008


They said, “Don’t smile until December.” It’s advice to new teachers that might need some help getting their class in order. The idea is, if you don’t warm up to them at first they will take you more seriously in the long run. For example. I was discouraged from joking and befriending them in September.…

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Dec 18 2008

Jeff’s Favorite Things, Part II

1 Rachel’s Exotic Yogurt This yogurt blows my mind. The flavors are unique and utterly delicious. I honestly look forward to waking up just to eat one for breakfast, or grab a snack in between periods at school. I hate fruit at the bottom yogurts, and Rachel’s is already mixed in. The perfect yogurt. At…

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Dec 17 2008

Come One, Come All

I just got this email and link from Travelocity. They are having another flight sale from Sacramento to Philadelphis for $150 round trip, which is an amazing deal. If you wanna get away and come visit anytime from Jan – June, let me know and check it out! SAC –> PHL Click on the different…

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Dec 17 2008

Parent Conference Night – LIVE

Yes, you read that right. I’m live blogging my parent conference night. I thought there might be some fireworks, since parents can be a little crazy. 1:15 PM Conferences start at 1:30 and last until 4. Then we have a break until 6 and conference with parents until 8. It is going to be a…

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Dec 14 2008

Obama’s Choice, UPDATE

There has been a lot of talk about Obama’s choice for Secretary of Education, since the post has yet to be announced or leaked by his transition team. I have been following the leads and names without much ferver, but after reading this recent article in the NYTimes, link below,  I am surprised by the…

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Dec 06 2008

Homophobia at School

I always say that ‘coming out’ is a life-long process. It never really ends. From the first time I told my parents and closest friends in high school to this past week, I can never really say with confidence that I’ve ‘come out’ – as if it is something that ever ends. It doesn’t. In…

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Nov 28 2008


Today is a day I usually spend with family. I’m with my dad, sister and uncles in the morning for a thanksgiving brunch. Then Chelsea and I drive back to my mom’s for the afternoon. I’m always sleepy on the drive home, but I feel so peaceful on that 30 minute commute. At one particular…

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Nov 21 2008

The First Snow

I woke up this morning to snow. I was a little too excited – and ended up taking pictures on my way to work. The people on my street looked at me strange, and I just said “I’m from California.” – Jeff

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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 04 2008

Obama for America

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Nov 04 2008

Eight Years Later

Eight years ago, I remember talking with my good friend Birdy and some classmates about the state of the race at the time. I wanted Al Gore to win, she wanted George Bush. I remember the conversation so vividly mostly because of the outcome of that election – how so much has changed in the…

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Nov 02 2008

Weekend Away

I am just heading back to Philadelphia from a weekend “retreat” in NYC with Andrew. It really is a treat to escape from the ho-hum of Philly and get distracted someplace else. I hopped on the bus Friday right after work and got into the city a little late. Since the Phillies won the World…

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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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Sep 17 2008

Mom’s Visit, Revisited

It’s been a while since I updated everyone on my mom’s visit last month – the time has flown by, but there were still some nice stories to tell from her time here in Philadelphia. As I reflected in previous entries, she was a life saver. It was a real treat to just hang out,…

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Aug 17 2008

808 S. 5th

Life in the dorms over the summer could be tense at times. Putting 600 cranky, tired and sometimes dejected 20-somethings into one building certainly caused a little stress. Finding time to look for an apartment was even harder. It was nice, though, to escape from the dorm-life for just a moment and imagine life in…

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Aug 09 2008

A Day at Institute

One week into August, and I think I’m finally ready to look back on my summer experience. It has been no easy task to keep up with these updates, but I want so badly to have some record of this special and experience heavy time. So this is my concerted effort to revive Jeff for…

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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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a Teach For America teacher’s blog

Greater Philadelphia
Middle School
Social Studies

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