Down to the Delta

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

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Aug 25 2013

On being a traitor

According to TFA’s statistics, I am one of the whatever percentage of TFA alums still in the classroom. Yes, I have stayed in the classroom. I am just about to start my second week of teaching 6th grade writing. But I am not in my placement school, my placement community, or even my placement state.…

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Jan 23 2013

A lot can change in a year.

Last year at this time there were days when I was almost brought to tears during class by how mean my students were to each other or how unable I was to get any of my students to stop talking for long enough to listen to me. Today I was literally brought to tears by…

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Nov 03 2012

With Rigor For All

The title of this post comes from a book that my team teacher often mentions. I have not read it, but I feel the title applies to what I have been noticing in my classroom and feeling recently. I have really been pushing my kids this year. When I was teaching math, I did not…

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Sep 22 2012

This is why I Teach For America

Everyone knows my feelings about TFA, but some days I do feel like I am here doing at least a tiny little bit of good for a very few of my students. We were discussing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in class the other day as part of a Hunger Games based conversation about whether or not…

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For anyone who talks to me on a regular basis, it will come as no surprise that I have spent a large part of this year and probably way too much time grappling with TFA, its mission, my role, and pretty much everything I could. I came to the conclusion not long after entering the…

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Mar 08 2012

Today after school I was sitting in my classroom doing a little bit of work. It was the last day of the nine weeks today, so a lot of kids have been worried about what grade is going to be on their report card. Unfortunately, some of the kids who need to be worried aren’t,…

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Feb 03 2012

On wanting more…

Another blog post so soon. I know. Crazy. So one of my students asked me today why I have been in such a bad mood lately. And why I have been so mean. After thinking about it for a while, I decided to give an honest to god put it all out there answer. I…

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Sorry for the really terrible metaphor title for this post. I am no English teacher after all. I haven’t written in a really long time. If I have any faithful readers, I apologize. I have been waiting for the right mood. Not necessarily the best or worst mood, but the mood where I feel most…

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Oct 31 2011


I was warned about the month of October. I have also been planning on posting for a while now, but my mood has been so up and down since my last post that I haven’t been able to decide what to write about and what the mood of my post will be. So I decided…

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Oct 15 2011

The Tipping Point

I have had some bad days recently. Really bad ones. I had to have a girl taken out of my room because she was causing such a huge scene yelling about how she hates this school, hates the teachers, doesn’t care if she get’s written up and on and on and on. That afternoon, I…

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Sep 27 2011

“But I do love the kids.”

Normally when I hear people say the phrase “but I do love the kids” it is following a whole lot of complaining about the school, the job, the administration, TFA, and whatever else you can imagine. I am guilty of doing that myself. But putting everything else aside, I LOVE the kids. Love them. Today,…

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Sep 19 2011

Real life?

When my friend Will was in town visiting this weekend from Pine Bluff, we went to the only breakfast place in El Dorado, Arkansas. While we were sitting at the table waiting for our food, Will stopped talking, looked at me, laughed, and said, “We live in Arkansas. How ridiculous is that.” I can’t help…

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Aug 25 2011

One Day At A Time

I have not written forever, and I don’t really have an excuse. The past month and a half has been a whirlwind, but, since that probably won’t stop for the next two years, I should get used to it. So, how are things going? Well, after summer school ended, I packed my bags and moved…

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Today marks the last day of real teaching at institute. My spirits are lifted, and most everyone else’s spirits seem lifted. Tomorrow we give our final assessment, and on Friday we will spend most of the day talking with our kids about their future plans and what they have learned this summer etc. I have…

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Jun 23 2011

I’m Angry

(If you want to skip to why I am angry, scroll down) It has been a long time since I have posted. Partially because I have been pretty incredibly busy since I got to Mississippi, and partially because I don’t have a lot of good words to say what I am feeling. So this will…

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So I am sitting in a hotel room in Nashville, TN about to get back on the road and head to Leland, MS. Yesterday morning, my friend/travel companion hopped in the car and started driving. I noticed that it got hotter and hotter as we drove South and West until it hit about 97 degrees…

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Apr 29 2011

Where has all the time gone?

The other day, my best friend asked me how I was doing. She knows I have been stressed. I told her that I was getting through. Her response: “Well, I would rather you were thriving every single day, but getting through at all is better than not getting through.” Such words of wisdom. In one…

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A couple of weeks ago I drove to Lynchburg to take the Praxis 1. First of all, I hate Lynchburg. For those of you not familiar with Virginia, Lynchburg is in the southern part of the state. It is home to pretty much two things of note as far as I can tell. One: the…

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Feb 11 2011

Taking Steps

I didn’t want to make a second post until I got any more TFA news. So after many weeks of silence: I passed the praxis math exam. Good thing, too, because it was not an experience I have any desire to repeat. ┬áSo there is one thing to check off of the list (that I…

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Jan 18 2011

The Very First One

After many technical difficulties, my blog is finally up and running. As an extremely brief introduction in case anyone I don’t know ends up reading this, I am: 20 years old (21 on Saturday), a University of Virginia student, a native of Charlottesville, VA, and a double major in history and linguistics. I took my…

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