Stuff Students Say

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
May 21 2012

My other blogging job

I’m now also blogging, a bit more formally than usual, for an education reform group here in Minnesota. Check out my first posts on the need for more structured teacher evaluations and detailed school “report cards”.     p.s.:  18 more days of school!!

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…I took my kids out for an unscheduled recess and they started playing a very spirited game of boys vs. girls soccer.  If I haven’t said it enough before, my kids live for soccer and were ridiculously happy to unexpectedly get to play at the end of a long two days of testing.  One of…

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May 03 2012

The power of One Direction

Today’s Do Now to start math class:   Last night Ms. S. saw a post on Facebook that made her laugh: ’83% of girls would not care if Niall dropped out of One Direction. Re-post if you’re one of the 27% of girls who would fall on the floor crying!’ What is wrong with this…

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May 03 2012

General frustrations

If you’re hoping for entertaining kiddo stories, sorry in advance.  This post has two purposes:  a healthy vent, and some curiosity about how these things work in other TFA regions (specifically numbers 1 & 2).   #1:  I already used up my one allowed Professional Saturday skip in December, in order to catch up on…

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Apr 24 2012

My future writers

Somewhere in between all the test-prep madness, we do a little writing here and there.  And I love every minute of it:   A. wrote a letter to the editor in response to an article about the dangers of allowing teenagers to have cellphones.  Her conclusion?  People need cellphones, so clearly teenagers need cellphones.  Obviously,…

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Apr 06 2012

A certain level of chaos

Of all the mindset changes that I’ve made in the past 7 months, both intentional and unintentional, I think the most important by far has been accepting that along with every day at school comes a certain level of chaos.  It doesn’t matter how long I spend micro-planning my instructional day and problem-solving classroom management…

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Mar 16 2012

Taylor Swift look-a-like

A few random thoughts as I impatiently wait for the last 50-some minutes of grad class to wind down… -According to I., I look just like Taylor Swift.  He informed me of this last week, I think in the middle of a social studies lesson. To provide some clarifying details:  I have short, straight brown…

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Mar 02 2012


1.  6th graders are too old for recess. 2.  Token economies aren’t worth the annoyance. 3.  We’ve moved past the “stealing from the teacher” phase of the year. 4.  (Insert coworker’s name) can’t actually be THAT difficult to work with. 5.  Since our extremely tense behavior meeting with A.’s dad, the school director, the cultural…

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Feb 24 2012


One of the weirdest parts of teaching sixth grade is constantly observing- and sometimes partially reliving- the awkwardness of the middle school years. The gender-divided, cooties-concerned 11-year-olds who entered my classroom in September are no more.  I still have kids who span the age range of 11-13 (and one new guy who might be 14…

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Feb 17 2012

Worst grad student ever.

I am so far behind in updating this blog, and since I’m sitting in hour 3 of mind-numbing night grad class, I think it’s the perfect time to finally update it.  Just one more reason why I completely fail at TFA-mandated grad school.  Another reason being, I just dropped the other night class I’m supposed…

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I used to be a journalist. Now I just quote students.

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