The MEGnitude of Change

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
May 13 2013

Checking Myself

“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…

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May 01 2013


On Monday, we tested. I has expected this day to be full of emotion — victory and disappointment and uncertainty and hope. I had expected this day to be a moment of truth, for me and for my students. It was a victory lap, an unexpected success, a wake-up call, and a hopeful sign of…

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Apr 24 2013

Pushing through the finish line

BIG NEWS. Our geometry test, scheduled for Friday 4/19, was pushed back to Monday 4/29. With this switch comes a major shift in review strategy & motivational gameplan — how do I keep my kids going for another week, when so many of them were ready to take the test on Friday? This past week…

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Apr 12 2013

Passing the baton

My pre-calc class saved me yesterday, without a doubt. My lesson wasn’t as air-tight as I had hoped it would be, but my students were awake & alive & ready to learn. They were interested (& hard-working, even?) – asking about the reasons behind the math, not just copying down formulas & getting to the work. We let…

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Apr 01 2013

What price are we paying?

Sprinting. As teachers, that’s what we do 70% of our days. But at what cost? This weekend, I stumbled upon my reflection not in a mirror but in a New York Times article. What were these words of wisdom that sent my brain into overdrive? “He noticed that when I was anxious about something, I…

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Mar 29 2013

Are you afraid?

Ever since I became a teacher, I’ve started answering a lot of questions. My students ask me questions about my math objectives, my friends ask me questions about my social life, and my family asks me questions about my well-being. But on Wednesday night, at a dinner with TFA donors, I was asked a question I wasn’t fully prepared…

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Mar 18 2013


“I’m glad I came — intersession’s been a lot of fun.” Over this past week, my friends were exploring the streets of San Francisco and snowboarding along the Pennsylvania mountains. I, on the other hand, was still waking up before the sun rises and trudging with sleepy feet into John Marshall, spilling coffee onto my…

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MY KIDS ARE INCREDIBLE. – While teaching 30+ middle schoolers, I had five high school “TA’s.” They circulated around the room, answered questions, and then taught the end part of the lesson in smaller groups. Thanks to them, the kids were able to grasp onto the material and work at a pace that matched their…

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Mar 11 2013

What does it mean to be a woman?

What does it mean to be a woman — a strong, successful, empowered woman? I’ve been asking myself that question a lot lately — to assess my personal growth, and the growth of my students. Each day, I notice John Marshall female students acting in ways that promote themselves as empowered women…and in ways that degrade…

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Mar 06 2013

The Art of (Not) Teaching

Today, I didn’t drive my students toward success. I led confusing & circuitous INM and struggled with classroom management. And I am prouder of my students than I’ve probably ever been. – DW (from my fifth hour class) didn’t have a cover during her fourth hour, so she came into my honors class & learned…

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My journey in mathematics and beyond

High School

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