Blue Suede Shoes

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Mar 12 2013

The Evaluation Questions…

My former life and current life overlapped a few weekends ago at the LEARN Conference. The first breakout panel I attended, on teacher evaluation systems, resonated with me, especially having been affected by the new Teacher Effectiveness Initiative in my time in Memphis. A panelist brought up the need to study the evaluation systems and…

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Nov 11 2012

The Anniversary…

Three years ago yesterday, I was accepted to Teach For America in Memphis. I’ll never forget the euphoric relief I felt when I finally checked my e-mail that evening. I’d had the back-up plan of law school, but let’s be honest, who wants to use a back-up plan? I remember where I was (the empty…

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Aug 23 2012

The Video Hunt…

This is a very long shot, but I’m looking for a spoken word video about teaching by a Delta corps member. I think he was an English teacher. I saw it on facebook and loved it, and I may have even linked to it or “liked” it, but I can’t find it anymore. I want…

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Aug 03 2012

The Art of Teaching…

My brother’s been going to an art class for the past couple of days, and he came home today eager to quiz me on famous artists. It made me think back to the second-grade gifted teacher I had who first opened my eyes to the beauty of the art world. I am by no means…

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Jun 13 2012

The Brother…

Teach For America 2025?

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May 23 2012

The Conclusion…

In the wake of finishing two years in the classroom, I have found myself reflecting a lot lately about those years, what they have meant to me, and what I am taking with me from the experience. I am disappointed, yet satisfied; angry, yet joyful. I am hopeful for what’s to come in my life,…

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May 02 2012

The [Second] Final Stretch…

“Ms. H., that test was easy.” Music to my ears, this was what several of my best students told after the state algebra 1 test yesterday. I hope that this confidence is not misplaced. Scores should be back to us in the next two weeks, and I am eager to see how my students performed. I’ve…

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Apr 11 2012

The Visitor…

One of my students from last year, B., came to visit a few weeks ago. B. was a beautiful girl, frequently smiling, and maybe this is one year’s detachment talking, but I don’t remember her giving me much trouble. She had also transferred in to my relatively calm algebra class late in the year, so…

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Mar 07 2012

The Turkey People…

I have often thought that Teach For America should require a longer commitment. Would this result in fewer applications or higher attrition? Perhaps. Would this result in more effective teachers and leaders? Probably. Is this feasible at this point? I don’t think so – at least not nationwide. The idea of year 3 has been…

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Feb 28 2012

The Beauty…

7/8 of my teaching commitment is almost over. I knew the time would fly (it always does…), but it’s still hard to believe that it’s been two years since I came down to Memphis that first time with my family the winter after I got in to Teach For America. It will be very hard to leave…

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