Stir Up the World

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

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Jan 02 2012


I love this poem this time of year! “Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky, The flying cloud, the frosty light; The year is dying in the night; Ring out, wild bells, and let him die. Ring out the old, ring in the new, Ring, happy bells, across the snow: The year is going,…

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Aug 07 2011

BOSU balls and mattresses

Moving across the country to a place you’ve never been before, starting a job you’ve never done before, and living in a community where you don’t know anybody is a bit like standing on a BOSU exercise ball.  Since the photo uploader thingy isn’t working, all I can do is describe what a BOSU ball…

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Jul 31 2011

slightly less nutty

I finally finished cleaning out my classroom!  It is now completely clutter-free, and I can start to arrange and decorate to my heart’s content.  It’s SUCH a relief to have that done, because I feel like I can really get started now. I’m also feeling better about this fall.  The more prepared I become, the…

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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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Jul 27 2011

poll: do you use SLANT?

TFA is big on Teach Like a Champion.  It’s a really good book, and I plan to implement some of its tenets in my own classroom. One of the most popular concepts in the book is using the acronym SLANT for active listening position: Sit up Listen Ask and answer questions Nod your head Track…

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Feb 28 2011


I did my second classroom observation a few days ago, and it was a little bit frightening.  I’ve noticed that whenever I do a classroom observation, I mentally put myself in that teacher’s position, which I guess you’re supposed to do.  The only problem is that I tend to assume that my class will be…

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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 08 2011


Well, I officially passed the Praxis II, aka Math Death Test!!  Granted, my score was about 68%, but it counts in Mississippi!  Good enough for me!! I had been saving my gigantic stack of flashcards I made in preparation for the test, and it was SO nice to be able to throw those away! I…

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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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Okay, so all of you overwhelmingly recommended doing classroom observations, but do you all have any further advice on what specifically to look for? I’m super busy this semester, and the picture I had in my mind was me going in from 8-11 twice a week, every week for the rest of the semester.  As…

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What is one thing you wish you’d done to prepare for your TFA experience, especially in your last semester of college?

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Jan 16 2011

Praxis II = death.

I took my Praxis II yesterday, and it was a bit of a shock.  Like waking up and realizing that all of my furniture was on the ceiling.  AUGH!  See, all this math is already atrophying my ability to make up similes!  I’m losing my English major-ness! Anyway, I’ve been studying my little brains out since…

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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