Louisiana Sunshine

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Mar 26 2011

Cold calling totally works!

On Tuesday, as promised, I launched Teach Like a Champion Technique #22, Cold Calling, in my college class.   And it was awesome!  I didn’t do a very good job with my questioning technique, so things looked a little (well, a lot) sloppier than they do on the sample videos — but everyone was awake and alert and they swapped techniques for remembering tricky vocabulary words and we all had a good time.  And then we proceeded to have a rousing discussion of the day’s reading, which generated enough genuine interaction that one student emailed me a page of follow up thoughts a couple hours later.
But the best part — on Thursday they took a practice GRE and while we were waiting for IT to come open the door to the computer lab, I drilled a few vocab words from Tuesday’s class — and they absolutely KNEW them, 100%.  AND said…

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Mar 18 2011

Teach Like a Champion

I am in love. With my birthday gift card, I bought a copy of Doug Lemov’s Teach Like a Champion. I’m most of the way through, and I’m so excited. I love these techniques, and I love how explicit the book is about what to do and how to do it. I’ve been teaching college…

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Feb 27 2011

I turn my camera on.

Thursday was the due date for my (first? last?) round of hiring materials: shiny new TFA-templated resume, professional photograph, and the dreaded VIDEO. The good news:  I’m not as truamatized by seeing myself on video as I expected to be. The bad news:  It took over eight hours to produce, upload, and email these three…

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Feb 12 2011

“Onboarding” is a funny word.

One that’s sort of reminiscent of pirates. Also one that I’d never heard before TFA started onboarding me (that just cannot be the correct usage, but you know what I mean), but that I’ve heard  in multiple places since then.  Vocab words are funny like that. I’m certain that when TFA talks about onboarding, they’re…

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This shouldn’t come as a surprise, I suppose, because math is also not really my thing.  But I took physics in high school and liked it, and I took chemistry and AP bio in high school and really didn’t.  So I’ve been trundling merrily through life thinking of myself as not really a bio person…

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Jan 16 2011


I’ve been teaching GRE preparation classes off and on for the last year or so, and my students are usually really tense and unhappy about taking the test.  I spend a lot of time trying to reframe the significance of the test for them–it’s nice to do well, but it’s not a particularly fair/accurate test,…

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Nov 20 2010

I may need more index cards.

I’ve received my Praxis middle school science prep book (thank you, free Amazon Prime trial) and it is…chock full of the science.  Not super well-written, unfortunately–there are a few definitions that are sort of circular and un-illuminating, including an entire paragraph that boils down to “a substance is a material” and is done in such…

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Nov 14 2010

Science? Science!

So last week I received my new TFA assignment.  Last year it was elementary ed in South Louisiana, which I had to work pretty hard to convince myself was going to be okay.  This year (post-deferral), it’s (get ready for it)….middle school science. I’m actually really excited about this, although I have almost no science…

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Jul 18 2010

An Institute Deferred

My apologies for the long absence here –though in my heart of hearts I knew it would probably happen. I ended up deferring my acceptance to the 2010 corps, so–much like last summer–I’m living Institute vicariously through all the TeachForUs blogs.  They make me excited for my own Institute experience, which is good because… …right…

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Mar 07 2010

(Long Overdue) PRAXIS Postmortem

So the PRAXIS really kind of sucked. I mean, it sucked in all the ways that spending four hours of a Saturday taking a standardized test sucks, but also I had a terrible time with the PLT. Mostly in ways that were my own fault, because I took WAY too long on the first few…

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a Teach For America teacher's blog

South Louisiana
Middle School

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