Herding Cattle is a Transferable Skill

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jan 25 2013

Things I’ve Learned…

Never, under any circumstances, give a middle schooler a piece of paper without knowing a)where they should put it RIGHT NOW, b) where they should return it.

Ask parents if they receive texts.

 

Be obsessive about formatting. If you don’t put a space for student names, they will develop a secret code, nicknames, or a system of cryptic hieroglyphics to mark their paper.

 

Formatting is 80% of the battle. The other 20% is reading level issues-like vocabulary, sentence length, etc.

 

Dress in removable layers.

 

Strategically placed candle warmers, air fresheners, etc. can make even middle schoolers post-gym less offensive to be around.

 

Print 3 extra copies. Always.

 

Develop student jobs or you will spend every afternoon straightening desks, sharpening pencils, and pulling your hair out. Make sure to never EVER to give jobs to only boys, girls, one race, or one creed-middle schoolers see discrimination everywhere, including where only teacher stupidity exists.

 

It is worth the effort to…

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Oct 24 2012

Class Sizes

One good thing about my school is their constant desire to see research. One bad thing about my school is their constant desire to see research. The way this has played out in my classroom this year is in class size. I teach 5th and 6th grade science and social studies in four 80 minute…

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Feb 28 2012

Cue the Kelly Clarkson Music

It’s not the content anymore; it’s not trying to find the bathroom, or fighting the copier, or even the surreal feeling I’m stuck in a  weird 2012 Groundhog Day. It’s the feeling of powerlessness in the face of crazy odds every single day; it’s feeling weak, knowing I need to fix it, but not knowing how.…

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Dec 20 2011

Support Team

At the beginning of the year, the intercom had buzzed. “Support team, support team-please report to the office.” However, there was no ‘support team.’ The teachers on my hall all looked out, grabbed the hand book, and looked generally bewildered. We found out later that the secretary had panicked, understandably, and made an all call for…

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Oct 24 2011

No Guilt

I’m taking tomorrow off. Why? Mental break down, perhaps? Caught the black death? Uh, not exactly. I didn’t feel exactly 100% all last week, and it certainly showed in my classroom. By Friday, I had lost my voice and was hacking up solid flecks of neon green phlegm. I spent the weekend coughing, hacking, sneezing,…

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Sep 26 2011

The Secret to Survival

The best thing to happen to my classroom so far is probably that I started taking a multivitamin. I know this sounds ridiculously lame and a little too common-sensical, but I don’t have roommates or anyone to harass me about taking care of myself. I have been struggling to find time and motivation to cook…

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May 25 2011

Tentative Placement

What does it mean about me that I cried unhappy tears? I am tetatively placed in Pre-K, about 5 hours from my ideal area. I can deal with the place, but I don’t know if I can deal with the grade. I wanted to teach high school or jr. high so badly when I applied,…

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Apr 02 2011

Dear Future Class:

You don’t know me yet; you probably haven’t even thought about your teacher for next year. However, I’m thinking about each of you. The first day of school is months away, but I know how short those months really are. I’ve got two senior-level papers left to write, a couple of moves to make, banquets…

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Mar 13 2011

Thoughts on the Praxis

I really believe that the Praxis system of tests is a load of crap. They aren’t the most effective tests, they are expensive, and they’ve become simply red tape. I feel like I am pretty well versed at test taking, but I felt really uncomfortable taking a test without any prior knowledge or studying. However,…

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Feb 14 2011

TFA & Me: A Brief Introduction

I heard about Teach for America as a college freshman. My boyfriend at the time attended the University of Oklahoma, and I attended the University of Arkansas (Fayetteville). He was in a speech class and the first assignment was a short speech on how to save the world. ( No biggie, right?) Well, a girl…

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About this Blog

Cows and children have a lot in common…

Region
Mississippi Delta
Grade
Elementary School
Subject
Elementary Education

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