Wayward Journalist

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

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May 19 2013


I held off on telling my students that I was leaving at the end of my corps member experience. My kids don’t know what Teach For America is, but they do know that all of the white teachers in this town have a weird habit of staying for only a two-year period. And I knew…

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Apr 23 2013

Dirty pop

Every couple of weeks, I get an e-mail from TFA begging me to check out the latest posts on TeacherPop. When TeacherPop launched, I checked it out a bit in its first week. I liked some of what it had to offer. I liked feeling like I was part of something bigger. Now, however, it…

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Mar 10 2013

The final countdown

Spring break has begun! But more importantly (since if not for my job, I wouldn’t actually have a spring break), it’s test time in Texas schools, and the test that my students will take is about ten-or-so class days away. There’s been a lot of tension going into this past week, so the break is…

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Feb 03 2013

Everybody talks

In the small community that I teach in, there’s no shortage of gossip (better known as “chisme”). And in many cases, individuals are too consumed with their own reputations. In two particular actions in the hallway one morning this past week, one teacher – who claimed the day before that she knew that one of…

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Jan 03 2013

Going back

It’s my last day away from the Rio Grande Valley. I’m flying back tomorrow, and will be in the Valley and Texas until my time in Teach For America draws to a close in June. I’d pretty much had a meltdown before leaving for the holiday break. After having two stints with the flu during…

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Sep 28 2012

Your cheatin’ heart

For me, cheating in the classroom is a very serious subject. At the high school that I attended, cheating was a punishable offense – usually by a suspension. It was clear to me from middle school forward that plagiarism in any shape or form was unacceptable, and that being well-intentioned in regard to avoiding plagiarism…

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Sep 19 2012

Girl, you’ll be a woman soon

Last year, I was teaching the end marks of punctuation. Since I teach middle school, it is a rather sensitive age group. And made a rather serious error when checking for understanding… Are there any questions about periods? Thankfully, I didn’t get any questions I couldn’t answer. Tomorrow, it’s the return of the period lesson……

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Sep 16 2012


This weekend, I came across a really interesting (and relatable) article that the New York Times ran earlier this year. You can check out the piece for yourself, but it highlights students who cross the border each morning to attend school in the U.S. Many of the students profiled are U.S. citizens; some are not.…

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Sep 08 2012

A new day has come

I have had pretty much the most amazing start to this year. Last year at this point, I didn’t know how to call parents since pretty much none of them spoke English, I had a set of inconsistent consequences that was getting exhausted pretty much every day, I had sent at least one kid to…

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Aug 24 2012


With school starting in just a few days, it’s interesting how different my classroom planning has been this year compared to the last. Last year, I remember arriving in a room full of materials that weren’t mine and I felt obligated to use. I also remember arriving in that room without a paycheck in the…

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Jul 25 2012


Considering that it’s been more than a year since my last blog post, it seems like I should add another. Especially since I didn’t actually blog anything during the whole first year. But I think there were a lot of lessons from that first year that I suppose it would make sense to share, in…

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Jul 23 2011

Say you’ll be there

On the last day of Institute, in the minutes before my school site officially closed for business, my CMA led us in an activity. I’m not sure what she called it exactly, but when I’ve done it before, it’s been called “warm-and-fuzzies”.

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Jul 16 2011

Home by the sea (or, 2.5 hours from it)

It feels like an eternity since I posted last on here, even though it’s only been a week or two, but life has more-or-less flipped upside down.

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Jun 30 2011

A little respect

This week had a lot of unmemorable moments.

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One of my favorite country music trios, Rascal Flatts, has a song called “Bless the Broken Road.”

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Jun 26 2011

All the small things

I stepped away from my computer for a few minutes yesterday and left Facebook up. When I got back, I got this message from the teacher I’ll be replacing next year

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Jun 17 2011

Reflections on the first week

I’ve finally done it. I’ve completed my first week in the classroom.

That’s a somewhat relative term, seeing as I only teach one 60-minute class period a day at Houston Institute, and Houston ISD cannot afford 5-day-a-week summer school, so I actually finished the week yesterday.

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Jun 11 2011

Things I had to buy today…

Institute has turned me into a sort of different person. I get up on the weekend at 9 a.m., I get up during the week at 6 a.m., I ride a school bus. I also spent the afternoon getting lost in Houston, and purchasing things I never purchased before. Specifically, I bought three ties (to…

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Jun 11 2011

What’s the name mean?

Welcome! My journey to Teach For America started last fall. I had friends who had applied in the past, and friends who’d become corps members, but I’d never thought much about it. Some of them must have submitted my name to TFA, because I started getting stalked with informational e-mails and the like. I skimmed…

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About this Blog

Houston Institute '11 alum. Now a rural E/LA teacher.

Rio Grande Valley
Middle School

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