Archives › Teach For America

Jul 01 2010

Dying by inches.

GAAAAAAH! The wait for the AP scores to come in is killing me; my whole rep as a teacher rides on these scores. I’ve been refreshing the College Board’s access portal pretty consistently for a few days. The scores are done! They’re out! Kids can call and get them! Why can’t I see them!?!?! Must…

read more »
Jun 26 2010

YouTube is a Jerk.

I’ve read a couple of posts about new CMs’ introductions to the latest dance craze to sweep the youth of the nation – The Jerk. One thing that was a constant at my school was dancing – kids, other faculty, everyone seemed to all of a sudden know these dances that I had never heard…

read more »
Jun 25 2010

Bloggy style.

Feedback requested!  I’m working on building a web site for my AP US History class. In college I taught myself basic HTML, but I didn’t want to fuss with that, so I’m using the wonderful Google sites, which I particularly like because it allows me to very easily use Google widgets such as Google calendar.…

read more »
Jun 24 2010


Report cards went out yesterday and I already have three parent emails. I think this says it all:

read more »
Jun 23 2010

Wrapped up.

I’m finally finished bedding down the classroom for the year. Bookcases are wrapped: Room diagram is drawn: I always hate leaving my classroom for the year. I work so much better up at school than it do at home; it is like my office. I very rarely take any work home — only the occasional…

read more »
Jun 11 2010

Not even remotely surprised.

Our high school’s graduation was tonight at 8:00. As I left my classroom at 4:30, people were setting up to tailgate outside the school with coolers and lawnchairs. Ah, country livin’.

read more »

A conversation with a fellow teacher about a mutual student (this kid). Me: “So, I hear K passed your EOC.” Him: “Yep” Me: “Wow. I’m impressed. He really struggles in my class.” Him: “Yeah, I have to admit I was a bit surprised. He seemed like he was trying on the test, but then…” Me:…

read more »
Jun 07 2010

Five Years.

June 4th Five years ago I graduated from UCSB. My college, CCS, had early graduation, so I had taken my finals early to be ready for departure the next day. I walked across the stage in Campbell Hall and I remember thinking “I should be proud of myself” but I wasn’t particularly, because I had…

read more »
May 30 2010

In which I am skreet.

The voting for “Most Influential on American History” commenced on Friday. Some of the kids were a bit silly about it (Miley Cyrus … no.) but most took it seriously and came up with good arguments. First block wound up in a tie between Martin Luther King Jr and … Jesus. I was supposed to…

read more »
May 28 2010

Car Smash

Kids had the opportunity to pay a dollar for three hits at this car with teacher’s names painted on it at lunch today. Overheard while kids whacked away at my name… “Mrs. B., the hammer slipped.” *cough* “Next time, assign less summer work!” “This is for all the DBQs!”  “Mrs. B, I love ya’, but…

read more »
May 26 2010

Identifying the wrong cause.

5 minutes into after school attendance recovery. The room is silent. I am typing at my desk when a plaintive voice is raised. “I’ll give you five bucks if you let me leave right now.” “Nope.” “Ten?” “Nope.” “Man, we need poorer teachers!”

read more »
May 25 2010

Silly Fads

In APUSH right now we’re talking a lot about influence and how to measure it (as part of our effort to determine the non-Presidential individual with the most influence on American history). One of the issues that comes up frequently in our discussion is longevity–does influence count if it is only short term? Somehow from…

read more »
May 22 2010

Of crackers and microwaves.

I stayed home from work somewhat unexpectedly on Tuesday because I felt the need to recover from my National Boards test. On Wednesday I was standing in the hall in the morning greeting students when one sidled up to me. I knew what was coming. “Mrs. B” he crooned, “How are you feeling?” “Not pregnant.”…

read more »
May 12 2010

See what’s happening.

So I caved and let one of my redneck English students write his research paper on the pros and cons of legalizing marijuana (which I then had to spell for him) simply because I’m determined to get this kid to turn in something this semester. We’ve been in the computer lab researching for the last…

read more »
May 10 2010

Someone talk me out of this.

I’m beginning to strongly consider trying to take a small group of students to Europe next year after their graduation. I’m concerned that this indicates some sort of head trauma on my part.

read more »
May 09 2010

A Push.

My kids’ AP US History test was friday. At our school, students take AP tests off site in a church basement because it is quiet and out of the way. (This provides frequent occasion for irony. During the Calc exam — for which our pass rate historically hovers around zero — there was a funeral…

read more »

Today is the day before the big APUSH test. I never really know what to do on the last day of review, everything just seems so done and final. I have been sensing a lot of tension among the kids (see previous post), so I decided to have a little fun with them today. We…

read more »
May 04 2010

Ah, AP week.

Subject line of an email I received from a student this evening:  “CONTINUED MENTAL BREAKDOWN!”

read more »
Apr 08 2010

Am I not making myself clear?

I counted last wednesday; I said “No touching!” or some variation thereof thirty-two times that day. I’m starting to feel like a pull string doll. “No touching!” “Stop touching him!” “Hey! No touching in the hallway!” “No touching in my room!” “Save the touching for later.” Male-female. Female-female. Male-male. Male-male-male. “No touching! No touching! No…

read more »
Apr 06 2010

Mythology & Disappointment

I tried a new unit with 10th grade English this semester, mostly thanks to the new English teacher in the department with whom I have become chummy. In the past, I have filled the gap in our curriculum betwen Night and The Kite Runner with a world poetry unit (haiku, Anceint Egyptian poetry, etc.) it…

read more »

Spring Break has begun and the great and enduring National Boards saga is complete, at least until I have to take the test in May. Chris and I finished packing our portfolios Tuesday at 10:30pm, about six and a half hours after we started (label, number, label, number, label, number, ad nauseum) just in time…

read more »

Go crazy? Don’t mind if I do!   National board, national boards, national boards. National boards? National boards. National boards! AAAAAAHHHHH! (34 pages written, about six to go before Wednesday. I was tripped up by a major equipment malfunction last week, but I’m back on track now…)

read more »
Mar 22 2010

Posting from the grassy knoll

Overheard while I was walking through campus on Friday, carrying a large tripod for my next video session.   “Wow … her last class must have made her REALLY mad.”

read more »
Mar 18 2010

Spring has Sprung

In class, I always make my kids back up their claims with evidentiary support (“Prove it! Prove it!”, I write annoyingly in the margins). Here is my stab at it. Despite the continuing cold and gray weather, spring has oficially sprung. Evidentiary support:

read more »
Mar 15 2010

National Boards

National Boards are taking over my life! For those of you who don’t know much/anything about National Boards, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) is an independant, nonprofit, national organization that provides a certification program to teachers that goes above and beyond the usual coursework/ student teaching model. A National Board certification says…

read more »