with love and squalor

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jan 02 2013


I don’t update this blog often.  A recent post on here questioning the relative silence of the 2012 corps and suggesting perhaps there is a rather insidious explanation (such as widespread mental breakdown) for this silence inspired me to write on here.  I may be a 2011, not a 2012, but for posterity’s sake, I felt I should post because I am NOT having a mental breakdown.
If someone would have told me this time last year that I would be planning to stay in the teaching profession for longer than my commitment to TFA, I would have been quite certain that they were horribly mistaken.  Though I came into TFA open to the idea of continuing to teach after the 2 years, I quickly decided that this was not going to be a viable path for me.  I found teaching to be unpleasant and, quite frankly, depressing.  Not even the…

read more »
Sep 17 2012

On the Strike

It’s bad enough how much trouble the general public seems to have in grasping all the things that can be functioning poorly in a school district.  The anti-union–actually, anti-teacher–rhetoric that virtually all major media outlets are outputting with regard to the current strike in Chicago is utterly despicable.  But what is actually unfathomable to me is…

read more »
Mar 14 2012

The Little Engine That Could

Today, we read The Little Engine That Could.  In our version of the story, there are four trains.  The Little Blue Engine That Can, the passenger engine, the freight engine, and the rusty old engine.  First, the passenger engine and the freight engine come by, and tell the broken down engine that they are too…

read more »
Jan 09 2012

An Education

At last weekend’s Professional Development Saturday, the CEO and Superintendent of Baltimore City Public Schools came in to give  a whole group address to the TFA Baltimore Cohort of 2010-2011.  I have always thought that Dr. Alonso was an interesting guy who had some sharp opinions on education policy (I like to listen to the…

read more »
Nov 10 2011

not saying i regret it

the following contains my own personal advice and it’s not meant to offend or whitewash anyone else or their experiences.  it’s just things i wish i had thought about way back when (actually, not that long ago).  but still… i see that some people have been accepted into TFA this week and are probably considering…

read more »
Oct 31 2011


it’s pretty well known in teacher lore that october is a horrible month.  at least, that’s what everyone says.  students become curious about how definite their teachers’ expectations and purported limits are, and start to test the waters more, behaviorally and also emotionally.  the honeymoon phase starts to wear off and leaves something downright exhausting…

read more »
Oct 18 2011

on sick days

i am sick.  not just a cold, but a stomach bug, vomiting, achey, can barely stand sick.  it started on friday evening as soon as i got home from work and continued throughout the entire weekend.  i had to call in sick yesterday because i was still so weak and out of it and queasy,…

read more »
Oct 07 2011

the best birthday ever

well, after my last post, it’s only right i check in today to say that i had the best day ever with my kids and that it is my birthday (hello 22) and my kids were just DARLING.  some of them even brought in cards and little presents and one parent brought flowers from the…

read more »
Oct 05 2011

just… wow.

i just got home from probably the worst day i’ve had so far as a teach for america teacher, which is weird, because the first half of the day was AWESOME (we know P!  we love the P song!  we can say /p/ and no one mixes it up! we love our literacy alphabet song!…

read more »
Sep 29 2011


today while i was idly googling tfa, i found out that its early childhood initiative has only been around since 2006.  i have to say, this program’s relatively short lifespan, compared to the entirety of teach for america’s existence, doesn’t really take me by surprise, but it also makes me kind of nervous.  i think…

read more »