Stir Up the World

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

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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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Mar 08 2012

has anyone read this?

My spring course leaders recommended it, and it just came in the mail:     Has anyone read it?

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Oct 12 2011

new book

I borrowed this book from one of the other teachers and I was wondering: have any of you out there in cyberspace read it?

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Jul 30 2011


That’s the best word to describe me right now.  I got back from Math Pilot Orientation on Tuesday night, and since then I’ve been completely overwhelmed with all of the work I have to do.  I don’t have the energy to do a cohesive blog entry, so I’m going to do bullets. I’ve been spending…

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It’s been so reassuring in the last few weeks, especially when I think about the upcoming school year. I can do this, I think.  I just have to be prepared.

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May 11 2011

too good to be true?

So today was my last day at my job, and one of the (incredibly generous) regulars gave me a $100 Borders gift card as a parting gift!  I managed to wait two whole hours before driving down and spending about half of it.  I got Setting Limits in the Classroom and Discipline Survival Guide for…

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Apr 20 2011

welcome to existence

Or, “this sh*t just got real”…sometimes that’s just the perfect way to say it!  I finally bit the bullet and went out and spent a small fortune on teaching clothes and a GPS.  I got some really good deals, so it wasn’t as big of a fortune as I thought I’d spend, but it was…

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Feb 21 2011

who knew?

I finished all of the reading for the Pre-Institute Work last night, and in one of the last chapters, they suggested taking this test ( to discover your subconscious biases.  I took a few of the tests, and apparently I have biases!  I knew this, but it was kind of depressing to have a test…

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Feb 19 2011

the fun has arrived!!

My Big Box O’ Pre-Institute Work came in the mail today!  So exciting!  It included a copy of Teaching as Leadership, a big huge book of readings to do, an instruction booklet, and a DVD with all these cool video clips!  I know some people think it’s a chore, but compared to my homework for…

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Feb 13 2011

the first of many

I had my first teaching-related nightmare last night!  I dreamed that it was the first day of school, and I had to take over another teacher’s class, and I was NOT prepared at all.  The students loved the teacher that I was taking over for and were incredibly disappointed.  I had nothing to pass out,…

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Feb 06 2011

three books

Important Disclaimer:  I’m not a teacher yet, so I haven’t actually tried any of the advice or techniques given in these books. Out of all of the teaching books I’ve read over the last 8 months or so, three have really stood out as incredibly practical, realistic, and most important – helpful. 1. Beyond Survival…

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I’ve been reading so much lately, my eyes just might fall out.  Not really, but I have been reading a lot.  And when I read too many teaching books, I get kind of overwhelmed.  At this point, all of the opinions I have about how I’ll run my classroom are just that – opinions.  I…

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Feb 01 2011

welcome to the planet

Two cool things happened today: 1. All of the teaching books I ordered on, PLUS my Abraham Lincoln poster, came in the mail today!  My brother texted me saying “you got a ton of packages in the mail”, and I opened the front door to 6 different-shaped cardboard boxes!  It was like Christmas morning…

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I spent $80 on yesterday on teaching books and an Abraham Lincoln poster!  I got: Teach Like a Champion by Doug Lemov (I’ve already read it, but it’s definitely worth buying) Beyond Survival and Reluctant Disciplinarian by Gary Rubenstein (came TFA-recommended) Discipline in the Secondary Classroom:  A Positive Approach to Behavior Management by Randall…

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rural Arkansas, eh?

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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