The MEGnitude of Change

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Mar 05 2014

Breaking the Silence around Sexual Harassment/Abuse

A male student calls another female student “fat” in the hallway between classes. A rumor is spread about incriminating pictures of a classmate sweeping through school through Instagram. A male student calls his teacher “sweetheart.” A staff member squeezes the shoulder of a colleague in the hallway.
This weekend, I reconnected with my passion: advocating against sexual harassment and abuse. It is exists in our schools – among students and faculty alike – and yet too often is left out of the conversation. From microaggressions to deliberate disrespect, we witness it every day. It affects our classrooms, and it affects our data. And yet, within the TFA community, sexual harassment is markedly absent from our conversations. We don’t discuss specific tools to address instances of sexual harassment—or to teach our kids that skill.
What we permit, we promote. By staying silent, we are permitting sexual harassment in our schools. We have to…

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Sep 20 2013

Hours

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…

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Aug 28 2013

Silence is golden

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…

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Jun 20 2013

This man is on fire.

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.)

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Jun 18 2013

One.

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…

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Jun 10 2013

Our endings punctuated by others’ beginnings

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,…

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May 23 2013

“Solve your own problems.”

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…

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May 22 2013

In other news…

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…

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May 22 2013

Why I Came to School Today

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…

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May 13 2013

This post will change your life.

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…

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