Stir Up the World

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

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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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May 21 2012

last week of school

Today is Monday.  Our last day of school is Wednesday, but these last 3 days are kind of a joke — we just have final project presentations, and once those are over with, it’s just a matter of keeping them from climbing the walls. I’m working on packing up my classroom, because I don’t know…

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May 10 2012

EOY

In keeping with the tradition of giving an acronym to everything, TFA has given us EOY: End Of the Year. EOY has come.  The last day of school is 2 weeks from today.  There are so many emotions and thoughts swirling and twirling in my mind right now, and I’m completely baffled that the end…

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May 04 2012

are we done yet?

First of all, happy Star Wars day! May the 4th be with you! My kids are so done, and I’m running  out of ways to motivate them.  The 7th grade teachers are giving a cross-curricular semester project, and all of the kids just want to work.  What I’m doing in class is reviewing different topics…

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May 01 2012

May? May!

I can’t believe it’s May.  I can’t believe I’ve made it this far alive. The fact that there are only 15 more days of school left doesn’t make it any easier to come to school, though. Some anecdotes: I’ve started playing a “90′s pop” playlist on www.jango.com during class, and my kids won’t admit it, but they…

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Apr 26 2012

yearbook

I’m going to be in charge of yearbook again next year, and my principal wants us to do a video yearbook. Does anyone have any experience with creating/producing video yearbooks?  Does anyone know where to find information about it?

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Apr 23 2012

time out

Are those rambunctious babies of yours getting you down?  Are you losing your voice just trying to talk over them?  Then look no further, because I have THE answer for you!  Just kidding.  I do, however, have something that happened to work for me last week, and I’m hoping will continue to work.  Maybe it’ll…

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Apr 23 2012

TFA’s myth of meritocracy

One of the biggest things TFA claims to fight against is the myth of meritocracy in the U.S.: the belief that anyone can be successful/climb the proverbial ladder if they only work hard enough, and that those who are not successful must be lazy and unmotivated.  This is a classist, very dangerous view, and TFA…

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Apr 19 2012

a “hot mess”

It’s the end of the year, and I feel my school slowly starting to unravel. The hallways are crawling with drama.  Drama everywhere.  My principal said he’s been up to his ears in drama every day.  I’m not sure whether all of the students are just sick of each other, or they’re just bored. Probably both.…

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Apr 16 2012

martial law

Two of my classes today were completely out of hand.  I didn’t see these classes all of last week because of Benchmarks, and I knew it’d be difficult to reign them in, but today was ridiculous. My plan for tomorrow is to put them under martial law, basically:  desks in rows and silently working on…

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Apr 12 2012

all the single ladies

Disclaimer: This post has very little to do with teaching.  My kids are fascinated with the fact that I’m single.  They absolutely cannot wrap their minds around the fact that I don’t have a husband/boyfriend.  It’s like I’m incomplete without one.  I mean, they are obsessed.  If we ever have a spare moment, they want…

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Apr 10 2012

home stretch

Usually when I go for a stretch of not writing on this blog, it’s because I have either not enough to say or too much to say. At this point, I’m not sure if I have nothing to say or everything to say, so I’ll try to fall somewhere in the middle. We have 31…

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Apr 02 2012

7. more. weeks.

I’m starting to have the sneaking suspicion that I haven’t taught my kids anything all year.

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At Institute last summer, during one of our Diversity & Inclusiveness sessions, we discussed the concept of there being one type of “good student.”  We were challenged to expand our definition of what a “good student” is.  The conclusion we were supposed to come to was that good students come in all different personalities, and…

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Mar 26 2012

surrogate

I’d say the single most overwhelming part of my job is being a surrogate parent to a LOT of my kids.  Not that my kids’ parents don’t adore their kids and do everything they can for them; it’s just the amount of time I spend with these kids every single day. I can stand up…

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Mar 13 2012

burnout cycle

One of these days, when I’m feeling clever and coherent, I’ll write a full-on post about the cycle of burnout teachers go through.  Beginning about 3 weeks before each break, it begins, culminating in the week before the break. At this point, I’m sick of teaching.  Sick of my kids, sick of taking attendance, sick…

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rural Arkansas, eh?

Region
Mississippi Delta
Grade
Middle School
Subject
Math

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"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