Break Every Yoke

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jan 17 2014

Mixed feelings

I love college access work. I love watching mindsets about postsecondary education evolve over time. I love that it’s my job to sit down one-on-one with students and listen to their stories, their thoughts, their concerns, their dreams. I love seeing students laugh and applaud when acceptances start rolling in. Really, I love all of it.
But once in a while, when there are no kids in the Center and the faint sounds of instruction echo through the halls, I think about the classroom — and miss it. Maybe that will never go away.

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Jan 07 2014

Making a statement

MH was an enigma. On paper, he seemed like a model student: 3.73 GPA, 1400 SAT score, 92% attendance. But in person, he was distant, sarcastic, and noncommittal. When asked about his personal life or postsecondary plans, he would change the subject; if pressed, he would insist he was going to become a world-famous rapper…

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Sep 04 2013

Commencement

Hello world! I’m back from a three month long blogging hiatus, during which I: finished the school year in Providence, said goodbye to my colleagues, friends, students, and packed my life into four boxes served as NYC Institute’s Director of Data Management and met some amazingly talented and dedicated educators along the way moved into…

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Jun 10 2013

Two years

The school year is almost over. This week is reserved for underclassmen finals, and grades are due by next Monday, which means most students will stop showing up after that. Last Saturday was district-wide graduation day, so the seniors are already gone. This Saturday is Alumni Induction, which is essentially graduation for corps members (we…

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May 30 2013

Drafty

Over the past month, I’ve begun drafting three entries on this blog and another two on my private blog. Only one has made it past a few sentences. This is a testament to the disjointedness of my thoughts lately, as I approach the end of the school year while simultaneously ramping up my responsibilities for…

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May 21 2013

Rough day

I drafted a lengthy, pensive yet optimistic, I-can’t-believe-it’s-already-the-end-of-May kind of blog entry during my prep today… and then period 6-7 happened. It was, without a doubt, the most out-of-control 109 minutes I have experienced in my two years of teaching thus far. I had kids falling asleep, shouting at each other, refusing to sit in their…

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Apr 28 2013

Two stories

It’s not quite dark on Sunday evening, but I’ve already finished all my planning, copying, grading, and data tracking for tomorrow. This is a very novel experience, even as a second-year teacher, so I’m a little disoriented. I guess I’ll use this time to share two stories from last week, one negative and one positive,…

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Mar 29 2013

Good Friday

This is a poem-sermon I first heard two years ago. It has no connection to teaching or education (except in a grand, cosmic sense I suppose), but after a physically and mentally draining month, it’s a jolting shot of hope and a powerful reminder of why today is called Good Friday. It’s Friday. Jesus is arrested…

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Mar 19 2013

Second-year success stories

March is a long and relentless month. I would say it’s kind of like October, the other dreaded month, but without even the prospect of the holidays around the corner. March is about when teachers start to believe, whether they verbalize it or not, that there is truly no rest for the weary. But it’s…

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Mar 06 2013

When salsa is like math

Last September, I joined Brown’s salsa club because I wanted something fun to do outside of teaching, and lessons were cheap and nearby. I improved a lot during the first semester, in large part due to my perfect attendance—lessons moved quickly, and I wouldn’t have been able to keep up otherwise. At the end of…

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New city, same vision


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