mathlovergrowsup

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

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I’ve just finished my second day of orientation. The principal looked at me and asked if I was tired. She just walked through my door and told me I needed to go home. I realized that even though everything is wonderful here from the salmon for breakfast to the well-organized and useful orientation, it is…

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Aug 25 2008

5 things I love about my new job

I can get to Facebook and Pandora online because they only block porn instead of most of the internet. Presumably I can use google pictures to find the pictures of fractals I couldn’t get at my old school. I can walk between all of my desks to help students without rubbing against the hormonally charged…

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Aug 25 2008

Culture Shock

If you are a first year CM you might not want to read this post. I’m not sure it will do anything to help your situation. I’m actually afraid I might get hate mail posting it. I’m doing the first day of orientation at my new fancy independent school in Seattle. I feel like I…

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Aug 16 2008

Did I give up the relentless pursuit?

My grandma brought me a present tonight. At first I thought it was hers since it was her 60th(WOW) wedding anniversary but she said it was for me. I unwrapped “Relentless Pursuit”, the book I wished I’d written about teaching at Locke high school for TFA. The author had clearly spent a lot of time…

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Jun 20 2008

Summer Blog

What are the three best reasons to be a teacher? June, July and August. Although I feel some guilt for not teaching summer school to underprivileged children this year it wasn’t enough to keep me from buying a plane ticket to Morocco, Geneva and France for six weeks. I feel like I can’t write about…

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Jun 20 2008

Do I still get to blog?

My mom was helping me hang pictures in my new room and noticed my Teach for America certificate of recognition for completing the program. “I can’t believe you’re done. I keep wondering if you blogged today.” My new room is in Seattle next to my new school where the kids are on grade level and…

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I hate taking attendance. Despite my dislike for it I do take it almost every period in the computer. In addition to taking attendance I am required to record each student who enters my class and the whereabouts of every student who withdraws. I do in fact put new students into the grade-book almost immediately…

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The administration at my school refuses to publicly acknowledge that our school has deep-seated problems. Because we have innovative programs like standard-student attire (they are only allowed to wear khaki, navy, white and yellow), gendered classrooms, Mandarin Chinese and now Russian they act as if we are a great school providing a great education to…

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My room is bare. All of the color is gone. Everything I created with my sweat and tears of two years is recycled, gifted away, thrown away, packed away. As I walked through the door the last time this morning I thought of the building as both my torture chamber and the place that made…

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May 31 2008

Alumni Induction

As I received my “diploma” for finishing my two-year commitment to Teach for America, I commented that I was much prouder of this than my college diploma. I always knew I would graduate from college, it was a matter of graduating cum laude or magna cum laude. I was not at all sure that I’d…

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Over dinner last week, I casually said to my housemates, “I forgot to tell you that there was a shooting at my school last week.” They looked a little shocked, but not as much as you’d expect given the post-Columbine media frenzy. Of course, no one was actually wounded at my school and certainly no…

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May 17 2008

Leaving Las Vegas

As I’m cleaning my room this weekend in anticipation of moving home to Washington, I’m finding reminders of my two years in Teach for America, my time at Whitman, and my time abroad. Just touching a note, a picture, a trinket brings back so many memories. I found notes from my summer students at Locke…

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May 14 2008

The Best Birthday Song Ever!

After finding out it was my birthday, one of my Pre-Calc students asked me if I would be around after school. I figured that he’d bring me something cute but I was taken by surprise when 15 kids entered my room. I recognized some of them from the musical and choir concerts and realized that…

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May 13 2008

Grand times at the Grand Canyon

I spent all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday with students and loved almost every second of it. I think it’s a new high in my teaching career. While traveling to the Grand Canyon with 15 Earth Club students, I was amazed at what wonderful, responsible, and inquisitive students they were. It showed me how curious…

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I’ve heard that diffusing a situation with humor can work well for minor misbehavior. I’ve not tried it much because it seems too out of control, too much risk for wild behavior. I successfully implemented this new teaching strategy today! One annoying thing that high schoolers love to do is whistle at the teacher. It’s…

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My Pre-Calculus class blew me away when we played Jeopardy today to review sequences and series for our Chapter Nine test. I’d told the class the story of Gauss two weeks ago and how his kindergarten teacher had in an act of desperation sent him to the corner to add up all the number between…

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One of my students whom I see every day for Algebra and Fundamentals has been trying really hard all year but still not feeling very successful. When asked to multiply 15 and 20 she will add up 15, 20 times in a long string on the side of the paper. I’m passing back yet another…

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I’m standing in the office after school and a girl who has never taken my class looks at my worn Red Chaco sandals and inquires if those were the sandals the principal wouldn’t let me wear to graduation under my tuxedo. I’d posted on my blog about it at the end of last year but…

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Apr 09 2008

Three in a row

This might be a new record. Three classes in a row, everyone on-task doing what they were supposed to be doing and actually maybe even enjoying it. Lesson planning is so critically important. In Pre-Calc we are studying sequences and series, my absolute favorite topic. We did my favorite worksheet of the year today where…

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Apr 06 2008

Serendipitous II

I had such a wonderful time in Seattle over Spring Break I sent my resume I’d created over Spring Break to an online placement agency who forwarded it to an opening for a Calculus teacher in Seattle. The school called me the next week the day after I’d sent a follow up letter, while it…

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Mar 31 2008

Food works miracles!

Although it might not be the most wonderful way to inspire kids I’ve noticed that bribing them with food works wonders. I was really sad about the newspaper article about math and felt like such a failure. Our principal, without even hearing from me about it at all, decided to buy the math department lunch…

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Mar 30 2008

Zen and the art of classroom management

Friday was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. It took me a weekend, a mother’s advice, some friends, a beautiful bike ride, the collected wisdom of thousands of Buddhists who undoubtedly spent a lot of life sitting Indian style coming up with their ideas, and the movie “Office Space” to smile, laugh and…

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Mar 21 2008

Aviation High School

I had to drive my mom to a high school today where she was giving a guest lecture. The school was so different from what I am used to. The students were enthusiastic and listened to the teachers. When I read the mission statement for the school I felt like it was the mottos I…

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Mar 21 2008

Serendipitous

This week has been serendipitous over and over again. I chased down the only break that stuck in the road race. My mom happened to be giving a guest lecture at an amazing high school where I now have connections. I saw one of my best friends in Canada and planned a summer adventure with…

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Mar 17 2008

Drawing the line in the pain box.

“There is a certain amount of pain that we must experience in life. There is no escaping it. Life just isn’t easy and there is a certain amount of suffering that we will all have to endure,” local UNLV philosophy professor explains to me on a climbing trip to Mount Charleston. He said, “This is…

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About this Blog

Learning more about life than math…

Region
Las Vegas Valley
Grade
High School
Subject
Math

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