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Apr 24 2012

Reset Button

It’s April, and there is so much talk of next year. It’s on my mind, too, as I pray for a second take with kindergarten  (so much I’d like to try to do again, improve on), yearn for the supposed so-much-betterness of the second year, and mostly wonder, wonder, wonder what’s in store. It seems like…

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Jan 29 2012


Aaaaaand we’re back! Why hello there, readers. Now in the new year and new semester, my school-world is rife with resolutions. In my personal and professional life I’m working, now, on pursuing happiness, finding the j-factor, living a little – whatever you want to call it. And while some of my students still think that the…

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Nov 20 2011

“This is Fun!”

“Hey, this is fun!” Straight from the mouth of one of my kiddos, while we were working after school on writing our names with play-doh. I felt a wave of contentment with my job and my life for that moment and thought there was no place I’d rather be than at my kidney-shaped table after…

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Nov 04 2011

Help! Leave me alone!

All day long with the alphabet song in her head, sometimes the alphabet sound song, too, repeating in the awful voice used for children’s music, unnaturally pitched and sing-songy: a for apple, a-a-a. Afternoons sharpening pencils and picking up paper and cleaning juice they shouldn’t have had in the room anyway off the floor. Afternoon…

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Oct 02 2011

“I Want To Be Good”

The title of this post comes straight from the mouth of one of my most troubled and troublesome kindergarteners. “What’s that, you say, loyal reader?” (I know there’s only about one of you!) “Weren’t you just switched to third grade, Miss O?” Why yes. And now I’ve switched again. As I take a break from…

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Sep 01 2011


Last week, “upheaval” was one of our vocab words. This week, I teach a new grade, with 32 new kids, a new classroom (in a different building), new curriculum, etc. After teaching middle schoolers and high schoolers in various programs and then 5th graders for a week, third grade feels like a different planet when…

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Aug 22 2011

“How do you spell education?”

My. First. Day. I guess I should start off with an e-apology for missing several weeks of posting! In my defense I just got my internet service up and running, and I moved, and started a new job, and have been getting lost in Miami, and planning for class, and decorating my room… But it’s…

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Jul 23 2011

Best Kept Secrets

Since my own public school education is not so far back in my memory, I can’t help but think, sometimes, of my old teachers in my current position. Of course, there is something unique about TFA Institute that can’t compare to a regular school year teacher’s life, but stil… I wonder what our kids think…

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Jul 06 2011

“Miss, can you help me?”

Institute, Week 2 This week we have KIDS! which is the best thing in the world. My students are 7th graders in summer school because they failed or performed poorly in math, reading or both. This week has been full of diagnostic assessments, and many – but not all – of the students are definitely…

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Jun 27 2011

Institute Begins!

Philadelphia is just how I remember it: beautiful historic buildings, wide city streets lined with theaters and shopping centers, run down neighborhoods facing the challenges of poverty and de facto segregation, amazing murals in unexpected places, hot summers. And that achievement gap. I flew in to the City of Brotherly Love for the first time…

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