DC Chillin

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

Just got back from the Reality Israel trip. For those who have not heard of it, TFA pays for 70+ corps members to travel to Israel for 12 days, hear from educators and leaders, and engage in discussions about education, leadership, and inequity. For free. Yes, you heard that right. All expenses paid.
Perhaps I’ll write more about the trip and my takeaways another time. For now, I wanted to give two reasons I’m more optimistic about TFA than I used to be. (Disclaimer…in the past, I have ranted against TFA. Particularly during the “Dark Days” of September-December of year one.)
1) On this trip, I had the chance to meet several people who are pretty high up on TFA Staff. And contrary to what I may have expected, their views on education and what it will take to close the achievement gap…

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The first year teaching is brutal. For almost everyone. But I can’t shake the feeling that it shouldn’t be this hard. What do you wish someone would have told you or taught you how to do before your first year teaching? For me, 1) I wish someone would have demonstrated how to effectively use betterlesson.com…

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Dec 25 2011


This may not be a new thought, but it needs to be said.  Institute is a pile of garbage.  It serves one primary purpose, and there’s no close second–getting you used to be completely and utterly miserable. It certainly wasn’t for the students.  I was supposed to cram a year of algebra into about fifteen…

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Dec 25 2011

I’m glad I didn’t quit

Oh, I wanted to.  September sucked.  October sucked.  November sucked.  And when I say sucked, what I mean is every day was truly awful.  Not just kind of bad.  Truly awful.  The depression was overwhelming.  Just getting up in the morning was a struggle. Has it really gotten that much better?  I’m not sure….I think…

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Jun 21 2011

Question Before I Drink the Kool-Aid

So Induction starts Wednesday, and I’m excited to let the brainwashing begin. I’m two years out of college, so probably less likely than some to be susceptible, but then again I’m pretty susceptible to brainwashing in general if commercials are any indicator (KFC Double Down! I’m going to buy that tonight!) But here’s my question.…

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Jun 07 2011

Teacher Love

A few days ago, I got an email from Adam Geller, who is apparently the founder of Teach for Us. He directed me to Kerry Folan, who recently created a site called teacherlove.org for people to post stories about their favorite teachers. I was told I would have  $100 donated to me through Donors Choose…

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Jun 03 2011

Last Day at Haynes

From the card my kids gave me on the my last day: You are awesome, Mr. G! Thank you 4 being here. Sad to see you go but hope to see you again! PS You will be missed. I will miss you pleas [sic] come and visit us. We’ll miss you! Come back soon! Thanks…

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May 22 2011

AP for All

The Boston Charter School I worked at last year employed something called “AP for All”–in order to graduate, every student was required to take AP US History junior year and AP English senior year. Jay Matthews, the education reporter for the Washington Post, is also a huge believer in the importance of AP courses and…

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May 20 2011

One thing that worries me

A lot of incoming CMs starting blogs are over-the-top crazy enthusiastic about teaching.  Which is great. But I worry about the confidence that many of these newbies seem to have.  There’s this mentality along the lines that “the only reason my students haven’t achieved is because their previous teachers have held low expectations for them.…

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May 18 2011

For all the Spanish teachers out there

You are very brave. In my experience, it’s hard enough to manage behavior when the class is in English.  But in another language?  Doubly hard. So here’s a question I’m posing: is it possible to be an excellent Spanish teacher without being a little terrifying? As a student myself and as a school employee, I…

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From DC public school student to teacher

D.C. Region
Middle School

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