In the Lou

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

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Aug 27 2008

Post Script from Year 2

I forgot to share this retrospective video that I made for our students’ promotion day ceremony. I’m sure I’ll remember other things, but this gives you a good glimpse of the fun we had!

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I can’t legitimately say that I need some time to think what I should be typing right now since I haven’t updated anyone in quite some time. So I won’t put it off, but I am needing to think along the way. Fortunately or unfortunately for you, this is going to be lengthy. Part 1:…

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Apr 04 2008

Music videos from my classroom

I’ve recently been into the glorious land of DonorsChoose for the first time. This is a site where you can write proposals for things one might need in the classroom. When I returned from my summer travels, my digital camera had transformed itself into a paperweight. So, I wrote a proposal. And it got funded!…

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Mar 04 2008

A week without teaching

Even though it was 70 degrees and sunny on Sunday, it is snowing like the dead of winter in St. Louis today. In fact, this is our biggest storm of the year. More than 8.5 inches has already blanketed the airport, the place of our official readings. Eating Ted Drewes while wearing short sleeves seems…

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Aug 13 2007

Summer ended 14 minutes ago

At the time I started writing this post, it was 12:14 am. Today is the day that school starts again. (Not for kids, just for teachers.) I could and should be sleeping. Instead, I’m here, finally confronting my talkative inner-self who I’ve been avoiding for the past two weeks since getting back from my summer…

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For better or worse the new Special Administrative School Board took control of St. Louis Public Schools today and the St. Louis Board of Education is essentially a defunct operation. A judge yesterday failed to enforce a motion for an injunction. On my way into a meeting at school this morning, the news reports were…

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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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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 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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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 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 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 06 2006

Newton’s Third Law of Teaching

According to Newton, for every bad teaching moment there is an equal and opposite good one. Last Monday started out with a review of our performance of Friday’s Check for Understanding, a.k.a. Quiz, fondly abbreviated the “CFU.” Read it out loud to yourself, and you’ll understand why it’s humorous. This was our first solid mastery…

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What an exciting year to move to St. Louis, Mo. This past weekend, the Gateway City with it’s gleaming Arch (which just turned 41) took a title away from Detroit, Mich. I know what’s racing through your head right now… the Cardinals‘ exciting victory Friday over the Tigers to take the World Series title. This,…

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Sep 28 2006

F is for Flexibility

Througout my Teach for America training, the need for flexibility has been stressed. But, in my few short weeks on the job, no week has tried me more than this one on the point of being flexible. The sound of music This past Sunday, I had planned it all out. I was going to head…

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Aug 26 2006

A Race to the Beginning

A story in three parts. Act I: Last minute preparations School starts Monday. The list of things to do keeps changing. My stress level keeps rising. Act II: Oh yeah. That’s why I’m here Things at school seemed relatively smooth, too smooth. And then it happened… Act III: A systematic perspective As a science teacher,…

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Aug 23 2006

The classic bad dream

Today was the first day to report for work at our schools. I woke up at 7 a.m. on the dot. Plenty of time to shower and get ready (~15 min) and then check my email, etc. It’s my normal morning routine; I like going at a non-frenetic pace. I left my apartment at 8:06,…

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This past Wednesday was the first in-service day for St. Louis Public Schools. I’m returning a positive review of the first two days. First, I want to say that the Teach for America gang stuck out like bright green new sprouts in a field full of teachers. All of us showed up, “professional dress” as…

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Aug 13 2006

I am employed, my employer is leaving

I received an excited email on Friday from my program director. I am officially placed at Long Middle Community Education Center Academy, a middle school in the St. Louis Public Schools system. This ends several months of waiting and, more recently, procrastinating for fear that I would not end up there. In a twist, I…

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Aug 07 2006

Signed, Sealed, to be Delivered

Today the lot of us went to a St. Louis Public Schools orientation for new teachers. Um. Great. I’ll leave it at that. In exciting news, though, the school district did come through and deliver a contract to each Teach for America member. This was exciting as none of the other “off the street” hires…

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I’ve just arrived home after my concluding session of orientation week for Teach for America. My journey to this day started on May 18 when I left my home to come to St. Louis for the first time on site visit. Since that point, we’ve been visited, oriented, instituted and indoctrinated every way imaginable. But,…

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Jul 28 2006

Why I don’t officially have a job

For those of you who I’m not in regular contact with, a little background info is necessary before we continue: I don’t officially have a job. Teach for America does not actually employ me. The school district will. Luckily, I do have a principal that wants to hire me and at whose school I’m planning…

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Jul 26 2006

What wasn’t in the transition guide

Ok. So TFA is all about providing plenty of helpful guides, information, etc. I’ve realized though, that no matter how much info I’ve received, nothing prepared me for the challenge of setting up my apartment — my first apartment. This is really a challenge on two fronts. The first is logistical. The other is motivational.…

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a Teach for America science teacher in St. Louis

St. Louis
Middle School

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