Stir Up the World

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jun 08 2013

done and done.

I’ve been home in California for about a week now, eating frozen yogurt and watching movies like it’s my job. I’m officially a Teach For America alumna.
By an act of Providence, I got a job teaching 7th grade math in a small town in Colorado. I’m really excited — it’s absolutely perfect. This last year was so full of angst about where I was going and what I was doing — it’s nice to have that all behind me.
If you’ve been reading through my entire TFA experience, you’re probably expecting some sort of a conclusion to this experience. I know I am.
For one thing, if you’re thinking about doing TFA, don’t. As weird as it is for me to say that, I’m saying it.  I love teaching, and I think it’s the best profession ever. But if you want to get into teaching, TFA is (in my opinion) one of…

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May 27 2013

read this book immediately.

It’s called The Defining Decade by Meg Jay. It’s really helpful, especially for those of us who are just finishing TFA.   Oh yeah, I’m done with TFA, by the way, as of Friday afternoon. I can’t even write about it yet — too much to process. I’m packing up, and leaving Arkansas on Wednesday. Wow.

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May 14 2013

institute flashback

I was just looking through an old notebook of mine, and I came across this schedule I wrote out for myself: Daily Schedule 4:30 am get up/quiet time 5:30 breakfast 5:45 board bus 5:30 pm get back/gym/shower 6:30 dinner 7ish plan! BED BY 10:30  12:30

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May 09 2013

losing my grip

Transitions are rough, man. I’ve got 3 more weeks in Arkansas, and I feel like I’m slowly losing my mind. There are so many thoughts and feelings floating inside me and I can’t seem to identify all of them. Here are a few: -I feel like I’m losing my grip on my mind and my…

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Apr 16 2013

home stretch

I have five and a half weeks left of school, and six weeks left in Arkansas. Not much has changed since my last post. This year has been so very stable compared to last year — that’s why I haven’t posted a lot. I’m leaving. My town is polluted and I can’t afford to continue…

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Feb 16 2013

can I afford to be a teacher?

I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. Before I was in TFA, teaching was all I ever wanted to do. I absolutely love teaching. But as I look at my options for next year, I’m forced to think practically. Can I afford to continue teaching? Before I started teaching, I had no debt. I had…

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Dec 21 2012

three fourths

As of today, I’m three fourths done with my TFA experience. I was just looking back at some of my older posts, and it’s hard to believe that it’s almost over. Two years is not a long time. I love teaching. I knew that before TFA, so TFA doesn’t get any credit for it. I’ve…

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Dec 10 2012

hello again!

I’ve dropped off the planet. I’m sorry. This school year is going so remarkably well, and I make such a concentrated effort NOT to think about school outside of school, that I haven’t felt like blogging lately. Yes, second year is better. I really like my job now. I adore my kids. I’m looking at…

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Oct 23 2012

what works for me

These are just things that happen to work for me; I’m not sure if they work for everyone or if it’s just my school and my kids, but here they are nonetheless: giving the kids a break. I have 90-minute blocks. 90 minutes is a long time. About halfway through class and/or when their eyes…

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Oct 14 2012


School is still going unnaturally well, and I’m almost afraid to write about it for fear of jinxing it. I’m thinking a lot about next year. I want to keep teaching, but not here. Though TFA has disappointed/disgusted me in many ways, it has made me very employable. I have a nice little resume built…

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the title

"If one desires to 'stir up the world,' it is easy to be impatient with work for the sake of work. Yet no story's end can forsake its beginning and its middle." -Joshua Wolf Shank on Abraham Lincoln