Along The River

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jan 31 2012

Lies lies lies…or untruths

If I could give one piece of advice to an incoming CM, I would say never believe what anyone says about which month is the worst or when things get better. You’ll hear things like “October is the worst month” and “Everything gets better after winter break.” Well I’m here to tell you that for me, these kinds of comments have not predicted anything about my teaching career. January has been the worst month. Things didn’t get better after break. In fact, my mood has gotten worse as I’ve come to realize that things just are not going to get better. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Of course they won’t get better if you think they won’t,” but that’s just where I am right now.
My school is a miserable place. When people hear where I work, their reactions confirm my experience. I get no support. My students don’t respect…

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Jan 08 2012

In My Defense

After  being sarcastically baited by blogger on this site and reading a post that (I believe) referenced a comment of mine, I’m feeling the need to defend myself. I’ve made, apparently, some controversial comments about Diane Ravitch and Twitter. My comments are as follows: “TMB’s tweets and post aside, I have yet to see DR offer…

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When we came back from Thanksgiving break this week, things at school seemed totally different. Managing my students has become a lot easier and I’m enjoying them more. I don’t really know what happened to change things, but I’ll take it! One of my classes has even earned the privilege of choosing their own seats!…

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Nov 16 2011

Against text books

As I observe the other new science teachers at my school (all 3 of us are new, the other two are also non-traditionally trained but not TFA) I realize how anti-effective many textbooks are. I say anti-effective because they are worse than simply not effective. No, they can be harmful in the hands of someone…

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Nov 16 2011

Blogging Dry Spell

I haven’t blogged in quite a while, since October 23. Not much has changed since then. I’m still getting by day-to-day but not transforming my students’ lives. At this point, all I can do is blame myself. I need to make time to introduce the vision, goal, and systems to help them succeed but just…

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Oct 23 2011

11 weeks in Memphis

So far, no one has asked me for my thoughts on this, but in case they ever do they can find them here.  We have had at least 10 CMs (only counting people who actually had jobs) quit in the first 10 weeks of school. Apparently, this is extremely uncommon for this early in the…

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I just wrote this really long message to a friend of mine who is applying, and I thought I’d reproduce it here. Friend! No worries about bugging me. I won’t lie, this is easily the most challenging thing I’ll ever do. There were moments when I wanted to quit. I was looking for a new…

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Oct 08 2011

I teach for A.J.

Yesterday as my students were taking notes, A. politely raised his hand (like he always does). I went over to his table and he said, “Ms. Y, did you know that it takes a year for a lizard to poop?” Where do kids get this stuff? It’s AWESOME. Time for a more lengthy update soon.…

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Sep 20 2011

Should I be happy?

So I’ve been thinking a lot today about the fact that, even though things are going better with my grade level and subject change, I’m still not happy. Should I be happy? Is that a reasonable expectation? I hate coming home to work and having a one day weekend. I spend Sunday working and I…

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Has it really only been a little over 2 weeks since my last post? It feels like a lifetime. I’m gonna throw out a question real quick: When they say October is the worst month in a first-year teacher’s career, are they referring to the second month of teaching? “On Gooooood” (a saying my students…

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Experiencing the Mighty Mississippi and Memphis

Middle School

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