In the Lou

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

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Jun 30 2007

The ending doesn’t have to be the end

On the last day of school, as we were waving goodbye to the kids, I thought about how it seemed anti-climactic. I didn’t have expectations for things to be different, it’s just that they got on the buses and were gone. That was it. The year was over. Done. No frills or brass-band. Teaching ninth…

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My hat goes off to the people who have the loud voices of this school system — the school board members. They present a survivalist political savvy necessary if they intend to actually stop the impending state takeover of the district. This past Tuesday during the school board meeting, board-member Donna Jones introduced a resolution…

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Jun 01 2007

And so the first chapter comes to an end

Thankfully, today with students went by without too much fanfare. By that I mean things were kept relatively quiet and calm. Yesterday, I went to lunch with my best teacher-friend. We had joked how we might be of the few who go outside at the end of the day to wave goodbye. At the top…

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May 29 2007

The best bulletin board ever

No matter what happened today, my day was complete. I have such the ear-to-ear grin that I was able to snap a picture of the aforementioned bulletin board in Mr. Analogy’s room. You really need to click on the picture to see what is written under the words “THE ONE.” Oh this is too good.…

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I feel safe in generalizing that most people have the pleasure of suffering through being exposed to economics through a required introductory class in college. For most, this is a first chance at the four-hundred person lecture hall. For me, it was a 25-person torture* session with the man who was leading the data-driven exposé…

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I’ve regretted all year having fallen short on creating the “Science Star of the Week” board. I just never did it, and then it would slip my mind for a long time, and then I would think about it and not do it because I’d feel it was “too late.” At least now I’m resolved…

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Getting projects ready for the science fair was, in one word, awful. Sending five projects to the science fair was, in one word, amazing. Two weekends ago was the Greater St. Louis Science Fair, the largest regional science fair in the country. Because I’d never been to this science fair, all I had in my…

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May 22 2007

Defining Eggcelence

Before I go into ultra-reflective mode, I need to get some of the good stuff down. I’m taking the Band-Aid approach and just starting. This past Monday was the due date for something I’d like to call a projectunity.

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Apr 26 2007

Two strikes on St. Louis

My Thursday in St. Louis is deserving of two frustrating sighs. The first objectionable occurrence was the St. Louis Public Schools’ Board of Education’s approval of Resolution 04-17-07-12. The resolution is as follows: The Board of Education Authorizes authorizes Tuesday, May 29, 2007, a full class day for the students of St. Louis Public Schools;…

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Apr 22 2007

In honor of Earth Day

Sometimes students can surprise you with the work they produce. As an effort to recognize that Earth Day was near (today in fact), I assigned my students a journal entry: What is the most important environmental issue to you? We talked about what this meant, and I provided examples such as pollution, recycling, and global…

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Apr 12 2007

Make your own oscilloscope

No, not you. My students did. Thanks to some help provided by the St. Louis Science Center, each of my students made an – albeit crude – oscilloscope to visualize the sound waves produced by their voices. This all took place on Tuesday of this week. Gluing the mirror to the top Hmmm. How does…

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In teacher heaven, there are people who want to help you be a better teacher. In teacher heaven, you can learn how to be a better teacher. In teacher heaven, there are no papers to grade. In teacher heaven, there are a near endless amount of options for things to see and do related to…

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Mar 16 2007

Why being personal matters

My kids are people. Sometimes they forget that. Sometimes their teachers forget that. Sometimes I forget that (I’m not perfect). However, I think the key to this teaching thing is remembering that. These kids are people. They need, want and hunger to be treated like people who have a value and are respected by others…

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Today we had a fight. I’m not exactly sure why it started. It was in the hall and in the room next to mine at the beginning of seventh hour. The problem was that there weren’t any security guards around at the time. I had to go in to try and diffuse the situation. Half…

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Mar 11 2007

Sugar coating is overrated

I think sugar coating all things in life gets a little old. Yes, it’s a great world when all things have something good to them, but I think we lose perspective if we’re not willing to admit the truth in some situations some times. In case it’s not clear, I’m about to purge the some…

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Mar 03 2007

A public, non-empty promise

I promise to start writing again. I think I’ve been partially avoiding writing so as not to have to face some the issues going on in life right now. I think I’ve also been in a lazy mood, excusing my absence from writing with prioritization of other things like catching up on TV shows. Very…

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Feb 20 2007

Something good is in the water

I think that someone has dropped some sort of foreign substance into the water supply of Jefferson City, Mo. The substance, though, is causing intelligent decision making.

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Feb 03 2007

Oh where oh where have I been?

I’m ready to resume writing this week. I needed to internally process some things around me in life, so I took a break (including a 16 hour night of sleeping last weekend). I actually did write a nice long post more than a week ago, but it was accidentally deleted when my internet connection went…

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When I meet “those veteran teachers” who are a few years too veteran for the good of their students, I wonder how they became that way. I don’t think that someone stays in education more than a few years if they truly don’t feel they have a passion for helping children. But if we assume…

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Jan 08 2007

And I’m back…

I remember trying to explain momentum to a student one day. I described it as pushing a full shopping cart in the grocery store. It’s hard to get started, but easy to keep going. Coming back to the blog is the same way. The first week back from break was a bit of a mess.…

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Dec 19 2006

Twas the end of exams

Twas the end of exams and all through the halls, not a student was stirring, not one at all. At 10:45, the bells they weren’t ringing, but the buses were here, the students near screaming. And then all at once, in a flood of fury and glee, they sprinted on foot to their yellow-domed party.…

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Dec 09 2006

Tis’ the season to give a care

Why in the world with someone without predetermined aspirations to be in education become a teacher? The answer to this seemingly rhetorical question is quite simple, I believe. Pulsing through my veins is the ability to care for others. Before you start to roll your eyes at the seemingly seasonal-sappiness of this discourse, let me…

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Nov 30 2006

Keeping track of my time

So much of life is about the timing. And while that statement is really nothing new, I think I mean that understanding the context within which everything happens is so very important. Today all the teachers dashed out of the building, me included.

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Nov 18 2006

Elastic Potential Teacher Energy

A while back, I taught my students about elastic potential energy. Mainly, if you compress an object it will spring back into shape. I have to say that this concept could be well applied to being a teacher, too. This week, I experienced the worst day ever. It wasn’t the kids. On Wednesday night, I…

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Nov 13 2006

Escape from oppressiveness

I’m slightly delinquent in writing this week. As such, the vibrancy of some of last week’s goings-on have started to slip away. Thus, I’ll keep it to three short snippets. Appalled I’ve noted that many students are suspended right now. We keep getting an interesting parade of parents coming through, interrupting class at odd times.…

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About this Blog

a Teach for America science teacher in St. Louis

Region
St. Louis
Grade
Middle School
Subject
Science

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