English in the District

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jan 01 2011

Oh lord

It’s 2011.
Winter Break is over in 2 days.
Number of papers graded: 0
Number of Lost episodes watched: 15

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Dec 18 2010

Teaching and Heart[break]

My last post was about teaching and heart. This one is about teaching and heart break. I teach both lower-level readers in one class, and advanced kids in the other. If you know anything about the achievement gap, you know of the horrifying stories of how behind our kids are. High schoolers who are functionally…

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Nov 08 2010

Teaching and Heart

Anyway, this post is not about that. This post is about heart and love, and about how to be a teacher who retains any modicum of sanity, you have to love your kids. Even when you hate them. Even when they are obnoxious little snots. Even when you want to shake them and say “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU BE QUIET AND LISTEN.” You have to choose to love them. Someone once told me at Institute that becoming a teacher, in many ways, is like becoming a parent. This is one of those ways. Because if you don’t– if you don’t choose to love them– then when they want to make you scream, that’s what you do. You scream. When you have a scathing comeback in your head, you deliver it. When they make you feel vulnerable and small, you dole it right back out. You make them feel vulnerable and small.

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Sep 24 2010

Today sucked.

It was awful, probably the worst day I’ve had in teaching ever. My periods 2 and 5 are fantastic– chatty, but hilarious, engaging, and really fun to teach. 1 and 7 though has increasingly become more and more difficult. They’re constantly off task, disrespectful to one another, and cannot work independently for more than 2…

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Sep 19 2010

Don’t You (Forget About Me)


I’m sitting in an Au Bon Pain near my house right now, grading papers, and the Breakfast Club song came on– so I figured it was appropriate that I update the blog. I’m sorry for my sustained absence, dear readers. But now I’m back!

Where to begin? Let’s start with my students– I really do love them. Not each and everyone, at least not yet, but enough that I’m excited about seeing them everyday. Even on days when I’m dreading teaching on the whole.

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Sep 01 2010

Adam’s Apple

Yesterday, in period 4, Tyshawn leaned over his desk during independent work time and half-whispered, “Miss K…can I ask you a question? It doesn’t have anything to do with the work.” I braced myself and said yes. “Is it possible to cough up your adam’s apple?” “What the…?” “This one time I had a real…

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Aug 23 2010

Are you fresh outta college, miss?

*having a discussion about expectations my students can have of me*

Students: Oh yeah, miss, don’t give up on us!
Me (thinking): Oh my god, babies! I’ll never give up on you!
Me (aloud): I can definitely make that promise– no matter what happens, no matter how ridiculous you are in class, if you come to me for help, I will always help you out!
Jason:…Miss, when did you graduate from college?
Me: Uhmm….a long…time ago?
Jason: Naw, miss. You’re definitely just fresh out of school!

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Aug 17 2010


I’m sitting in an empty classroom right now, which is to be my future classroom…and I am feeling so overwhelmed. Actually, it’s not empty– I’m sharing it with a third year Spanish teacher who actually has a ton of stuff. But my half is very empty and very sparse, and and….this is supposed to be…

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Aug 11 2010

Anyone home? Pt. II

Have I mentioned that I love my school? Because I do. What’s been difficult? This profound sense of displacement I’ve been feeling for the past six weeks. I’m realizing now, after some 22 years of life, that I don’t do change very well.

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Aug 03 2010


I had my first day of orientation at my new school today– and I’m already in love. My school is so so amazing– the things they have done/will do with the kids is just phenomenal, and I can’t wait to be a part of that.

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Teaching English in D.C.

D.C. Region
High School

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