Texas Flood

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

A few things I’ve learned recently:
• Don’t use the conjunction “nor” in a sentence on a multiple choice test. Plenty of students who aren’t fluent in English will not know what this means. Plenty of students who are fluent in English won’t, either.
• Don’t be afraid to call parents who only speak Spanish, even if you really only speak English. They will appreciate the effort, and if the message is “I want your son/daughter to come to school. He or she is smart and good in class,” they will understand you.
• Sometimes “Your power will be restored by Saturday” actually means “Your power will still be off on Wednesday”.
• When your students’ average score (including your repeating ninth graders) on a unit assessment is a standard deviation or two higher than the average scores of all the veteran teachers you work with, it makes you feel good and bad at the same time.
• Sometimes…

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Jul 31 2008

Summative Assessment (Pts. 3 & 5)

TFA I’m proud and relieved to be able to say, honestly, that at this point in the game I have no really significant complaints about Teach for America as an organization. I realize that, as a current member, I’m somewhat biased in terms of seeing my organization through rose-tinted lenses, but I’ll also remind you…

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Jul 31 2008

Summative Assessment (Pt. 4.2 and 1)

Here I’ll address some of the areas in which I think I grew a lot as a teacher over the course of institute, some of the areas I was already pretty good, and a lot of areas in which I feel like I’ve got some growth to do over the next year or two or…

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Jul 17 2008

Summative Assessment (Pts. 2 & 6)

After much hype about the regularity of updates and my devotion to keeping everyone appraised of what was going on at institute, I failed miserably at my objective of both those things. And, to make matters worse, the post that I left hanging here on this site for all my family and friends to read…

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So it’s been almost a week since my last entry. Apologies to any regular readership (read: my family) who I’ve accrued and who have been missing my entries. I promise it’s not because I haven’t been working. Last week started off rough and finished somewhat dishearteningly, but the in-between parts were pretty awesome. On Monday…

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Jun 20 2008

The kind of teacher I am

I am capable of doing an excellent job of teaching. I’ve seen it. My corps member and faculty advisors have both seen it. In my first debriefing, I got a lot of praise about my ability to command the attention spans of my 15 year-olds, to handle questions and answers, classroom management issues, and my…

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Jun 16 2008

Relative Sunsets

The sunset in the state I left: I the sunset in the state I arrived in (as seen from Moody Towers):

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Today marked my first official day as “Mr. Texasflood”. We spent the last hour or so of Friday working on decorating our classrooms—I printed out Escher drawings, wrote down quotes from Einstein and Adams, Plato and Hofstadter, and others on construction paper, and helped the two other teachers I’m sharing a room with make posters…

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Because all the networked printers are broken and his roommate was out of black ink. Creativity for the win. But that still means it’s time to go buy a printer. I’ll need one in the fall, anyway. Thank God for the really fun low interest rate credit cards that Wachovia hooks us up with as…

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Jun 11 2008

Know So Show Go

Last night, we held the welcoming ceremonies for the different regions that are gathered here in Houston for Institute. We heard from Wendy Kopp (!), past and current corps members (doing the “… that’s why I teach for America.” schtick, which was great and definitely a little bit of a tearjerker for the sensitive souls…

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