River Deep, Mountain High

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

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Nov 30 2011

Sick and Tired Of Being…

Poverty has and is presently beaten down the students we seek to serve. I worry that as my coworkers and I fight against and compensate for this unjust force, it will continue to oppress our kids and wear away at the adults as well. May we find the motivation and strength from within to keep on working against our unjust system

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Nov 20 2011

Know Your Role, And Shut Your Mouth?

I’m at a crossroads. I’m enjoying my students but not the nitty gritty of my job. My students need positive male role models just as badly as they need highly effective teachers, but I’m burning the candle at both ends trying to do both. What would the Rock say?

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Nov 11 2011

“I Don’t Have a Science Teacher…”

I’m dismayed and more than a little upset because I saw a former student at the game who scored the highest on the 8th grade science test last year. As I congratulated her, I asked: “Who’s your biology teacher?” Her response: “oh, I don’t have one. We have a long-term substitute.”

SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! This, ladies and gentlemen, is the achievement gap. This is why Teach For America exists…

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Oct 22 2011

It’s So Hard To Find Good Help These Days

Wendy Kopp struck a nerve with me when she claimed TFA had been successful because it spent 20 years proving that poor, black children could learn. I’m sure (hoping…) that she meant something else by that, but a society that needs 20 years and millions of dollars to believe these children can learn has another thing coming to it. I want my students to get in the habit of asking good, scientific questions; and I’m not talking about: “would you like fries with that?”

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Oct 16 2011

Teach Different: iTeach Therefore iAm

Think Different. Teach Different. What if education reform had a Steve Jobs? No Child Left Behind has had almost as much tenure as Jobs’ second run as CEO and yet Apple has blossomed while public education has floundered. What’s the difference? More importantly, how can education reformers truly “think different” à la Apple? “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

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If you are not fighting for my students, then you are fighting against my students, which means you are fighting against me; I don’t lose fights. You see, these kids may make the team but if nothing changes, most won’t make the cut- and I ain’t talkin’ ‘bout no ball game…

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Sep 18 2011

No Such Thing As a Free Lunch?

In schools with nearly 100% of its students (typically high-minority) participating in the free lunch program, it would make sense to simply have all students receive free lunch rather than having a handful who pay. Under the current system, a weird paradox is created where kids may feel penalized for having a parent with a steady source of income.

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Aug 31 2011

It Takes A Teacher

Q: How did I go from the 50th percentile in first grade to the 99th percentile by high school graduation? A: It took a teacher. Teaching is important because it takes a teacher to see the potential in a struggling student, to push a good student to become a great student, and to show genuine interest in each student.

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Aug 21 2011

Walk This Way

Today, a streak ended. There are many famous feats that have gone down in history from Michael Jordan’s 10 scoring titles in 12 seasons to Cal Ripken Jr’s 2,632 baseball games to Ken Jennings 74 jeopardy wins in row. For my part, I was just hoping to go two weeks without having to write an office referral. Gotta celebrate the small successes, right!?
FACT: Teachers have to be counselor-therapists in addition to instructional leaders in the classroom.

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Aug 10 2011

Today Was A Good Day… Pinch Me!

My first days have been good. Pinch me- am I dreaming? My students have brought their A-game and I will bring it too.

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Aug 02 2011

Why So, Second Year?

After a month of reflection in Maine, I’ve decided not to again make the mistake of ignoring my thoughts on teaching in the Delta. I can accept them, move on, and improve student achievement. It starts with this blog, “River Deep, Mountain High”

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About this Blog

Remove Barriers, Raise the Bar

Region
Mississippi Delta
Grade
Middle School
Subject
Science

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