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Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

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Jun 11 2011

Institute eve

Let’s talk about Induction first. Yesterday was the last day, and we had more sessions all day, then closing ceremonies (where we learned the Delta cheers!) and community dinners.  Our community dinner was absolutely incredible. It was at this gorgeous house with plenty of land, a wrap-around porch, a tree swing, and home-cooked food, so…

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Jun 06 2011


I’m sitting by myself in a hotel in Cleveland, Mississippi, trying my best to prepare for Induction tomorrow.  I know this is the last chance I’ll have to relax before the weight of the next two years settles itself on my shoulders, and I’m making the most of it.  I left California six days ago,…

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Jun 04 2011

mid-year resolutions

I’m very into New Year’s Resolutions, and I thought that since my life is going to completely change in three days, I’d make a fresh set of resolutions, specifically tailored to my TFA experience. Without further ado, here they are: Don’t ever think about, talk about, or entertain the idea of quitting. Don’t expect to…

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May 31 2011

road trippin’

Day One of my 5-day road trip to the Delta: Done.  I’m sitting in a hotel in Winslow, Arizona, eating Milk Duds and watching Gilmore Girls, just TRYING to relax. I’m completely exhausted from spending all of last week packing, driving for 10 hours today, and the prospect of TFA! It’s been very emotionally draining…

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May 27 2011

goodness gracious

How did this happen so fast?! It’s a Friday night, and I leave for the Delta on Tuesday morning.  I only have three days left in So Cal, and then that’s it until Christmas.  I’ve been so busy getting ready and being excited that I haven’t really processed the sense of loss I’m feeling, however…

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I actually wrote “the Final Countdown” on the top of the May page of my calendar.  This is it – my last month as an early-20s college student. I’ve been reading Teach Like a Champion again, and I think it’s just amazing. I have my last day at work TOMORROW (surreal on so many levels),…

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Apr 27 2011

limbo – and not the fun kind.

I put in my two weeks’ notice at work today.  I have two more weeks of classes and one week of finals.  After that, there’s a whirlwind two weeks of traveling and packing and Target and In-n-Out and getting my kittehs updated on their shots, and then I’m done. Done and gone.  And starting the…

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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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Apr 18 2011

classes? what classes?

My attendance of class has dropped significantly in the last few weeks.  And my classes occupy about 4% of my day-to-day thoughts.  Oh well! The planning, working, and living with swirling-twirling thoughts continues.  As I think towards this summer and fall, I don’t have a very clear picture in my mind of what I’m going…

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Apr 09 2011

thoughts: swirling and twirling

Life is crazy right now. The latest Delta “Matriculation Blast” (only TFA could come up with a name like that), we were informed that we don’t have to pay for the 9 grad school units that we get during Institute!  So that’s basically like Delta State and TFA saying “Here – have $1,000!” – it…

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Apr 06 2011

B’s get degrees

Disclaimer: I love school.  Normally. This is probably a horrible thing for a future teacher to be feeling, but lately going to class has become EXCRUCIATING.  It’s just that what I’m learning in class, while amusing and possibly informative, has absolutely no bearing on my future life. In my science fiction class today we spent…

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Apr 02 2011

toilet paper & Dolores Umbridge

So yesterday was April 1, the day that we 2011 CMs were supposed to check TFAnet for “Institute Updates”, and it was very exciting!  I did the survey, telling TFA what model of car I drive and what kind of computer I have and that I do indeed have health insurance.  I uploaded a photo…

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Mar 28 2011

mah kittehs

I have two cats – I adopted them separately in the last year – they kind of came into my life on their own.  I’m well on my way to becoming a crazy cat lady!!   They’re semi-outdoor cats (in at night) and fairly independent.  My family loves them and is quite willing to take…

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Mar 22 2011

return of the recluse!

As moving across the country/Institute/my new life approaches, I find myself pulling back from my friends here.  And when I have the opportunity to meet new people, I don’t really see the point – my chapter here in So Cal is closing, and the people who have been in my life for a long time…

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Mar 14 2011


I was so productive today!  I: 1. went to work and earned the money to pay for fingerprints 2. drove down to Irvine to get my fingerprints taken 3. on the way back, got a money order at the grocery store AND 4. mailed my fingerprints in! Now it’s 5:27 pm and I don’t feel…

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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 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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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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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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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 25 2011

can it be June, please?

I started my last semester of college today, and I can already tell it’s going to be a long one.  The only thing standing between me and my BA in English is one lousy requirement: I need two more English electives.  Seems silly to stay on a whole extra semester for two electives, but that’s…

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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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Jan 21 2011

Praxis I and Harry K. Wong

I took my Praxis I Combined Test yesterday, and it was nothing to write home about, thankfully.  If you took the ACT/SAT in high school, you should be fine. I also got the Math Teacher’s Survival Guide by Judith A. Muschla and an MLK Jr. poster!  I created a “Teaching!” wishlist on, mostly comprised…

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Jan 18 2011

quite a relief, actually.

I signed up to take my Praxis I, and I’m taking it this Thursday.  I looked at the information given on the Praxis website, and apparently this test is not challenging.  Apparently it’s kind of like the SAT I, where it’s just general reading, writing, and math.  It’s a 4-hour computerized test, and fortunately I…

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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