The Learning Curve

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Nov 13 2012

On Sustainability.

It’s been so long since I’ve written, but that actually underscores the point of why I’m writing now: because, in terms of how busy I am from hour to hour and day to day, my responsibilities as a teacher have increased significantly! I barely have a free minute to myself anymore. Because I can’t really process long-form right now, let’s list it out.
This isn’t where I thought I’d be as a second year teacher, for many reasons.
1) After a full year of doggy paddling and, at times, drowning, I assumed that a second year in elementary school teaching would provide at least a sense of continuity and consistency. This is not true for me this year because I have changed schools and grade levels, and anyone who has ever taught at the ECE or elementary level knows the huge differences between each year of school from K-4.
2) My new school is a part…

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Oct 04 2012

Evaluating Transitions and Performance.

I feel like I’m always beginning an entry with “It’s been a long time…” so without belaboring the point of my absence, I’ll just say it’s nice to check in. This entry marks the first entry of my 1st year at a new school. Last year’s adventures at my placement school in New Orleans East…

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Jul 01 2012

Year 2, Part 2, moving on.

Hey, so, remember this post? The title of which was, ‘Everything that can go wrong, will go wrong. And you’ll be fine.”? How true it is! As I sat down tonight trying to consider what to write – what would aptly sum up my first year as a TFA corps member and my mindset going…

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May 01 2012

When hope is all you have… and it ain’t enough.

There were more violent incidences at my school today. 16 students were arrested. 15 for one incident, 1 for an unrelated incident shortly before. I’ve been reading the news stories and hearing outsiders analyze our school’s problems, sitting as they come up with nothing but euphemisms and platitudes. Even as an insider, it’s hard to…

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Apr 06 2012

making quilts from scraps.

I recognize it’s been so long since I’ve blogged that it’s probably more conducive to any real narrative to have a summary insert, but I can’t bring myself to do that. Suffice to say that time has passed, things have happened, and I’m still here. Lately, I’ve been reflecting a lot on the school year…

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Hello, all. It’s been a while. My first day back teaching kiddos was this past Wednesday. The week went well, but was very exhausting. My school chose to focus solely on re-culturing our students, and I think that was a very good choice, but it was also very intensive. Anyhow, my new year’s resolution as…

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Dec 08 2011

The best of realizations.

Today, after yet another trying day at my school, I reached the (near) end and felt just as I usually feel at the end of a particularly long slog trying to get third graders to act like real, live, mini-people. My back hurt, my feet hurt, I was moving into unconsciously-rolling-my-eyes-at-everyone-for-everything territory rather swiftly, and…

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Nov 13 2011


This weekend was a (much needed) three day weekend, although by the time Sunday rolls around, the feeling is still the same: Do I have to go back to work? Really? I can’t say if it’s getting harder or easier. Honestly, it feels stagnant in a part of life that’s just enough this side of…

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The last month, especially the last week and a half, has been especially difficult for me. It’s been hard to go to work every day, to stay at work for the whole day, and come home to continue working. I haven’t seen a lot of progress and it was shutting me down mentally and emotionally…

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Oct 22 2011


That’s what I’ve written on all my lesson plans for the past two weeks. It’s been an uphill climb in every way. It is a rough realization, recognizing that you’re not being the best that you can be. It feels like a slap in the face, a crippling disappointment, a brick wall too high. I…

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