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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 31 2012

∆ institute advice

Since I apparently still have PTSD about this past year and can’t quite reflect on it yet, I’ll offer some advice about Institute, and specifically about the ∆ Institute. Other ∆ people, please add to this list if you want! make a motivational playlist on your ipod, and listen to it on the way to…

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Jul 17 2011


Institute is, as of Friday night, over.  There are so many things to say — I don’t even know where to start. First of all, what’s next?  I have Orientation from 12-7 today then 10-6 tomorrow.  It looks like it’ll be pretty pointless, but I keep telling myself that I’m getting grad school credit for…

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Jul 10 2011

blogging before lesson-planning

Before I buckle down and catch up on lesson-planning, I thought I should blog.  So.  Week 4 of Institute was awesome — I definitely had some rocky days, but my teaching is really improving.  As usual, the week just flew by, and by the time Friday night came, I felt like I had been hit…

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Jul 06 2011

student surveys

In an effort to post more during the week, I’ll post some of my students’ responses to the “classroom culture survey” that the powers that be had us give our kids this week. What has your teacher done to help you know how to behave? take me outside so I can calm down by giving…

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Jul 05 2011

a little Tuesday inspiration

We received a copy of this poem today.  It was written by Elizabeth Ficken, who’s a 2011 CM at the ∆ Institute this summer! You will not tell me That my beautiful black beaming children Will not read You will not tell me That my beautiful black beaming children Will not write You will not…

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Jul 04 2011

oh, the acronyms

As promised, here are some of the many TFA acronyms that have become a part of our insane lexicon here at Institute: TFA: Teach For America CM: Corps Member (me!) CMA: Corps Member Advisor PD: Program Director TAL: Teaching as Leadership (TFA’s book) TALON: Teaching as Leadership Online Network ODC: Observation Debrief Cycle (once a…

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Jul 04 2011

weekends at Institute

We all re-charge in different ways, I guess, and that’s never been as evident to me as it has been at Institute.  I’m always shocked at just how useless I’ve been on the weekends here, at least for the first 24 hours.  I guess the weeks are so intense that the best I can do…

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Jul 02 2011

Friday: update day, apparently!

Holy smokes what a week!  It just FLEW by, and before I knew it, it was Friday again. Let me just say, it was incredible.  I love being a teacher.  I’ve learned so much this week.  I adore my kids.  They’re “spirited”, to put it lightly, but I love them.  They’re just so funny, and…

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Jun 28 2011

seems appropriate.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who…

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While I acknowledge that I have been drinking a lot of Kool Aid recently, and will say that this Institute experience has been preparing me for teaching, I can’t help but think that TFA is not preparing me as well as it could be to be a teacher in the fall. 1. we get unlimited…

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Jun 25 2011

long-awaited update

Well, not really that long-awaited.  But an update nonetheless.  So I just finished my second week of Institute and my first week of teaching! It was quite the week.  I don’t even know where to start. Let’s talk about sleep deprivation.  I used to think that people who were sleep-deprived at Institute either procrastinated on…

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Jun 19 2011

the dawn of Ms. S

Today marks the beginning of Week 2 of Institute.  In other words, we’re 20% done with Institute, and if you include Induction, 1/3 of the way with our summer TFA training!  That’s great! This week was really long.  But it was good, at the same time.  I learned SO much about lesson planning, classroom management,…

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I’m telling myself right now that this’ll be a short post, but, knowing me, it probably won’t. In the tradition of TFA, today was an incredibly long day — probably the heaviest one we’ve had so far, too.  We had multiple intense, 2-hour-plus sessions on lesson planning, classroom management, and investing students.  Just when we…

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Jun 13 2011

acronym overload

TFA is good at scheduling looooong days.  But, all things considered, I think I held up pretty well.  Want to hear about my day?  Sure you do. I always enjoy reading about “a day in the life” – I think it’s the most telling.  So here’s mine, for today.  It’ll be different every day, and…

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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