Put a Ding in the Universe!

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jun 09 2013

Summer Limbo

Summer vacation has begun and I find myself in a curious state of limbo.  A school year didsn’t come to a nice, tidy ending.  It kind of sputtered out toward the finish.  Towards the end, the kids were a little more feisty.  They knew we were out of disciplinary options.  There wasn’t Saturday School anymore.…

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May 21 2013

Moore, Oklahoma Tornado

Tomorrow morning, the headlines will be dominated by a huge tornado that destroyed 30 square miles of Moore, Oklahoma today.  Moore is a community that is just south of Oklahoma City.  The OKC metro area is huge.  It extends from Edmond and Yukon in the north (possibly even Guthrie, to be honest) and goes all…

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Apr 26 2013


Tomorrow ends our second week of state testing.  Some of my colleagues have already blogged about their experiences on TeachForUs.org, but I thought I’d add my own thoughts and observations as well. As we approached testing, we could feel tensions rising in the school.  There’s a kind of tension you get before a big game…

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The school year is beginning to wind down.  This week we began administering state standardized testing.  The feeling is like having prepared a team for the championships and its about to go in for the big game.  So far, I have been favorably impressed by the sense of determination and focus I’ve seen in the…

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Today is the third day of class I missed this week.  My son came down with a stomach virus and he has been throwing up for the past three days.  I had to use some of my own sick days to stay home and take care of him.  That means the school has had to…

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Sometimes you just have to stand there in amazed silence at the dumbness of the system.  Oklahoma ranks 49th of 50 states in education.  It’s an almost completely red state.  Decades of conservative “fiscal responsibility” have left a gaping chasm of inequity between the suburban schools and those in the inner city. The thing that…

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Education is all about opening minds to consider other possibilities.  It’s so easy to get focused on meeting the daily objective and aligning it with the Big Goal.  Then along the way, once in a blue moon, almost as if by accident, something happens that’s quite disconcerting to both teacher and class.  A true teaching…

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Nov 16 2012

Mixed feelings

Today, the principal and the two assistant principals came to my class at the end of sixth period.  I saw one of their faces peering in through the metal mesh that covers the front door’s window.  At that very moment, the class had finished their exit ticket and, because of their cooperation (they’re not normally…

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Nov 11 2012

Overcoming negativity

Today I attended the first Oklahoma Regional Summit meetings in Tulsa.  It was a good shot of enthusiasm to bolster up a weary batch of achievement gap warriors.  The positive energy there was great and best of all, I had the chance to visit with some of my Institute pals. The focus on the meeting…

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Oct 12 2012

Go figure!

Unlike the more “garden variety” of  TFA teachers, I have five children of my own and five grandchildren.  That doesn’t mean I have figured out children.  It just means I have more experience at being astonished by them and the things they do.  It never ceases to amaze me what they come up with. I…

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YOTFAO BACTAG = You only teach for America once, but always challenge the achievement gap.

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