Teach Houston

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Mar 30 2014

on re-hitting my stride

Spring has come and, with it, all the promise of finishing this year out strong. In a strange way, it feels like some things have already come to an end. We had our last district-wide 8th grade English day and, after hours of reflection and planning and best practices for next year, I walked into the sunshine, grateful for such a strong content team and support from my fellow 8th grade ELA teachers. I spent the entirety of this weekend with at a Rice homecoming-like event and didn’t think about school until this evening.
My kids take STAAR on Wednesday. It’s incredibly high-stakes – if they don’t pass Reading, they don’t go to 9th grade – so we’re spending the next two days trying to just breathe and keep stress at the optimal performance level…not too low, not too high. We’re talking a lot about grit and mindset and self-fulfilling prophecies.…

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Tomorrow is our first day back to school after Spring Break. There are a host of memorial activities scheduled for this week & this weekend; I headed back to school today to make some copies and was struck by how just being there reminded me of the overwhelming sadness we faced just two weeks ago.…

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A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about Impostor Syndrome that received lots of great comments and feedback (yes – I read every comment and really do think about what you all have to say). You asked solid questions and nudged me in just the right ways. Thank you all. I wanted to revisit this…

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Mar 12 2014

death hits home.

A student at my school passed away last night. It was unexpected – a tragic accident, horrendous in that other children saw it and tried to save his life – and yet it happened, and the dawn broke, and the sun rose and we all went to school. The day itself was agonizing. My students…

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I haven’t written on here in a while. That’s been on purpose. To be honest, I’ve been struggling. Not instruction-wise or evaluation-wise; more on that later. I’ve been struggling with anxiety and self-esteem issues. I’ve been struggling to believe I am actually good at this. And despite the fact that I’m on track to skip…

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Feb 10 2014

fear itself

As I watched one of the US Olympic figure skaters give her post-routine interview, her words struck me. “I used to be scared. But once I let go of that fear, I really fell in love with this sport.” I’m usually not one for over-analyzing already over-analyzed sport metaphors but something about that idea struck…

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Feb 07 2014

One Hundred Days

Yesterday marked a rather poetic benchmark in my first year. It was the 100th day of school, and also 100 days until the current seniors at my university will graduate. I remember this day a year ago – I hadn’t even interviewed at my current school district yet – and though it was only a…

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Jan 25 2014

How does grit predict teacher retention?

A few days ago, I had the privilege of hearing Angela Duckworth give an hourlong lecture as part of her visit to Houston. A full auditorium’s worth of people braved Snowpocalypse 2014  (yes, Northerners, feel free to judge away) to hear Duckworth’s presentation on the psychology of grit and self-control. Numerous school districts, newspapers, blogs, etc.…

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Jan 21 2014

life these days

Barely two weeks in, I can already tell that second semester is shaping up to be much more smooth than first semester. I debated whether or not to go away for MLK Weekend but decided to stay home and relax, a decision that was completely cemented by the absolutely wonderful weekend I had. It had…

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As many of you may have gathered from my previous, just-as-impassioned posts on the subject, I am very wary of (borderline dislike) guided notes. That’s a big statement, so I’ll qualify it. I’m wary of their overuse in my school and in the unique teaching situation I’m in. My eighth-graders, some of whom read at…

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About this Blog

Journeys, challenges, & writings of a first-year teacher.

Region
Houston
Grade
Middle School

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