Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

Standardized testing is screwing everything up.
This is a statement, I think, that is not entirely unpopular. Hundreds of thousands of students, teachers, and parents* who feel crippled by the inaccurate, narrow, confining implications of these “measures of learning” agree with me.
I promised myself I wouldn’t cuss, rant or appear generally unprofessional in this post and the ones that will follow. But it’s going to take a lot of willpower. This is a subject about which, I’m afraid, I have to really force myself to keep an open mind. Further, I feel the need to remind you that I’m not an education historian, data analyst, principal, political figure, or veteran teacher. I am simply a frustrated TFA alum, six days out from my grad school orientation, trying really hard to understand both sides of a hotbed issue. Here is the first of several truths (as I see them, of course).
The Truth…

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In my pre-reading for TFA institute (and, actually, in the pre-interview readings as well) the gap of “achievement” (using data like test scores and graduation rate) between affluent kids and kids in poverty was always called the…wait for it…”achievement gap.” (Whether or not test scores and graduation rate actually¬†denote achievement is a whole other issue,…

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I’ve been trying to write this post for a while. I’ve been mulling over it since the last day of school, I guess. I wanted to have some breathtaking, sweeping, end-of-year proclamation, some culminating fantasy-ridden statement about my experience as a teacher in Oklahoma City. Currently, the only word I can come up with is…

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Feb 27 2013

the numbers game

i can’t even remember when i last posted, and i know the whole universe is hurtin’ because of it. don’t worry though, because i didn’t a.) jump off a cliff, b.) push a child off of a cliff and thus am facing multiple years in prison or c.) eat myself into a coma at buffalo…

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Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to beat the shit out of each other; The wretched refuse of surrounding schools with solid discipline policies, Send these, the expelled, Tempest-tossed to me I unwillingly lift my pointer and pretend to have hope! Not like the brazen giant of the real world post-high…

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Mar 27 2012

what I didn’t know.

I’ve been wondering for a while if I should unleash here on this ole blog. I worried about the consequences of my carelessness and fretted about the fact that my bosses, my peers and any other curious onlooker could read this and judge it in any way they wanted. But after today, I think it’s…

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Feb 22 2012

for the overwhelming good of my children

I NEED IT TO BE SPRING BREAK NOW. If you get a puppy and it chews something up, and then looks at you with sad eyes and puts its tail between its legs, for how long do you yell before you hug it and tell it you love it? If you don’t discipline it, does…

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Jan 21 2012


….is the bleakest of months.   I tried to think of the most dramatic opener I could, and that’s what I came up with. How’d I do? It’s hard to believe that a mere 20 days ago I was ringing in 2012 at a club in Ann Arbor with my new friend Phil, a 26-year-old…

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Nov 13 2011

the 8-year plan

My Biggest Fear has evolved. It isn’t, surprisingly, early death by manic clowns with vampire fangs (specifically in the showers of the locker room at the PEC on campus in Wooster, Ohio), as it has been for a significant portion of my life. It isn’t even failure, which one would expect from this job. It…

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Oct 19 2011

learning from the best

I don’t think I talk about my mom enough. So I’m going to, because she’s the best. She teaches 7th grade at a kind of down-and-out middle school (re: science is cut for reading, music is cut for test prep, etc.) in our hometown, and I happen to be typing this from her desk at…

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lassos, longhorns and literacy

High School

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