DC Chillin

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
May 12 2011

It’s never too late…

…to fix a broken relationship with a student.  That’s what I’ve come to believe.  But it requires a lot from a teacher.  Patience.  Persistence.   Willingness to start fresh.  Faith. I have one student that I work with that tested my belief in the nature of relationships.  In a moment of frustration, I snapped at…

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May 08 2011

Why is it so hard to find?

Since I moved back to DC, I have been very interested in DC’s charter movement.  Charters now educate something like 40% of the kids in DC, and new charters seem to be sprouting up every year. But if there’s a great resource for profiling and comparing DC’s charter schools, I haven’t found it.  Only through…

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May 07 2011

Is this a good thing?

There is a woman who is currently a New Leaders for New Schools Resident Principal at the charter school where I work.  Before becoming a resident principal, she was a music major in college and then taught elementary school in Hawaii for two years through TFA. She can’t be much older than 25, yet she…

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May 07 2011


TFA believes in data (as in “data-driven instruction”).  So does the charter school I currently work for.  Teachers give four interim assessments spread out over the year to prepare students for the DC-CAS.  They are supposed to track progress on certain objectives and develop reteaches and strategies/plans to address students who are not on track.…

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May 01 2011

SAT Prep for America

I’ve been teaching SAT part-time for Kaplan since September.  I have come to think that Kaplan sucks the big one.  More on that another time. But it got me thinking about the following questions: 1)  Is there any national SAT prep company that caters specifically to low-income students? 2) Are the SAT prep needs of…

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May 01 2011

Choices are hard….

I accepted my job with TFA the day it was offered.  I’d spent the past few months reading everything I could about education reform and teaching, while observing and practicing “teacher moves” as a teaching assistant that I would be able to perfect as a CM next year. Then, out of the blue, I got…

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Apr 12 2011

Read this article

This one, right here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/10/magazine/mag-10School-t.html. I feel like this article gave me a better idea of what working in a non-charter high-needs school will be like (if I get placed in a non-charter school). Two interesting mentions of TFA by the principal of 223. 1.  TFA first-year teachers are essentially worthless. 2.  The ideal teacher…

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Apr 10 2011

The Praxis and YouTube on a Sunday

Since I’ve been working as a teaching assistant in a sixth grade math classroom for the past year, I put down middle school math as one of the subjects I’d be willing to teach. At this point, I’m an expert percents, decimals, fractions, etc. So I was a little surprised when I realized that in…

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Apr 09 2011

My experience with DCPS

I attended DC Public Schools from kindergarten through twelfth grade, with the exception of ninth grade, when I thought I was too cool for school and went to a private school. I came back when I realized that the private school bubble was not for me. The schools I attended, located in upper NW DC,…

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Apr 08 2011

Two Years in the Making

I’m going to attempt to summarize my last two years in ten minutes and one paragraph. I applied to Teach for America as a naive college senior two years ago. Around the same time that I was accepted and assigned to teach middle school math in St. Louis, I was accepted into the MATCH Corps,…

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From DC public school student to teacher

D.C. Region
Middle School

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