Being good takes time.
How much time? According to Malcolm Gladwell, it takes (on average) 10,000 hours to become proficient at any talent — playing chess, cooking, and yes, teaching.
Admittedly, I haven’t read Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, but I would have to agree with this general concept. When we decide to master something, we simply need to put ourselves out there — day after day, time and again. We need to make mistakes, to fail, in order to succeed.
Yet, as TFA teachers, we walk into our classrooms on day one with a maximum of 25 hours under our belt — well below the 10,000 average. Even after a full year of teaching, we’re tapping out at around 1,000 hours (not including planning or tutoring).
What is the purpose of this blog entry? Maybe just to wonder at how limited we are in TFA, how limited our time is. The solution to improving our…
Let’s take my silence in the blogging world as a good thing. Why? Because it means my life as a teacher is starting to feel ordinary, rather than some two-year experience worthy of recording. Each day is filled with stories, both positive and negative, challenging and validating, but I no longer feel the all-consuming need…read more »
This poem has been rattling through my brain all week. Still processing, but wanted to share. (Explicit content has been edited out, but there’s still some in the comments.)read more »
This entry marks my first piece of writing on race & racial identity, as inspired by Alysia Harris and the Not Dalton’s Kids Project. When I was in seventh grade, my energetic history teacher bravely chose to tackle a new topic in her classroom full of homogenous, upper-class students: diversity. She explained the concept of…read more »
This afternoon, as I browsed the Oklahoma section of the TeachForUs website, I found my feelings summarized in two consecutive blog posts: one entitled “Aaaaaaand it is over.” and another entitled “And so it begins!” This past week, I lived in Induction Limbo. My surroundings were familiar: the OCU dining hall, the OKC Bombing Memorial,…read more »
Today, my classroom was exceptional. I spoke for a grand total of 3 mintues in each class. I had no new assignments. I gave no new lessons. I made no copies. I did nothing. Instead, my kids did the work. They sat down, held individual conferences about grades, and got to work on their final…read more »
Reading through my blog, I have also come to a wonderful realization: that this blog doesn’t contain all of the important turning points in my life from this semester. That there are chapters & plotlines that exist outside of the confines of this screen — ups and downs alike. Why is this such a wonderful…read more »
Today has been far from perfect. The last few weeks have been far from perfect. Some mornings, it can be tough to remember why we’re all still coming in each day, especially now that testing is over. But there are a few moments — moments when I know that what I’m doing counts — that I want…read more »
THIS BLOG POST WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE. Really. This relevation is earth-shattering, so be prepared. Take a breath. Get ready to have your perspective shifted forever. It all starts with a little something I like to call “megossip.” What is this term, you may ask? As defined by the Bainbridge-Ward Dictionary*, “megossip” is “(n.) information…read more »
“Leave your baggage at the door.” The past few weeks have been grueling for me — professionally and personally. I have been stuck in limbo, frozen just like the computers that my kids have tested on. As EOIs approached, I entered “triage mode,” prioritizing what was most important for my kids to succeed academically and…read more »