The Engaged Idealist

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Aug 14 2014

Meetings and Misconceptions

I will be the first to agree that TFA is far from perfect. Every year they tweak their program slightly in each community to better serve where they are. This I can account for due to the endless surveys and data I must supply and the quick changes I see occur once the data has been synthesized.
Unfortunately being a new teacher is scary, not because of kids, but because of colleagues. You don’t wanna be the person that offends or steps on toes, but you also don’t want to seem annoying. Its a weird line to walk, and almost feels like I am back in school myself.
This week was professional development for the whole district’s new teachers. I was really excited to meet people, but something weird happened. There were a few people who were really accepting of TFA and welcomed us as they too were nervous and excited for…

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Aug 02 2014


The Las Vegas Valley. Here I am. In two weeks I bought a car, moved into an apartment, got my classroom keys, and became a full fledged adult. There is still 1000 things on my to-do list but Maslow’s heirarchy has never been more relevent. Food in my pantry, a roof over my head, and…

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Jul 28 2014

My Favorite Teacher

Mr. Myers was the teacher who changed my life as a student. I think we all have a “Mr. Feeny” and Myers was mine. After going through this program and realizing that he left a comfy lawyer job to be a teacher makes me respect him that much more. Of course, this means I had…

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Jul 18 2014

Last Day

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to come on here and proudly proclaim that all of my students passed and are getting summer school credit. I can’t even proclaim that they can proficiently add/subtract/multiply/divide. However, I will brag on the fact that all of them did leaps and bounds better on their final than they did…

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Jul 11 2014

The Big Switch

This past week we switched schedules for teaching periods. I am now teaching after nutrition and good lord its way harder than teaching in the morning. In the morning it was difficult to get them to put their heads up, after nutrition its hard to get their butts back down and in their seats. This…

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Jul 04 2014

Independence Day

Fourth of July. Our first experience with a three-day weekend. The kids were crazy, we were crazy… The weekend was much welcomed. I finally saw and spoke to my family for the first time in weeks. It sounds crazy since its only 20 mins. away but home seems so far. I feel bad neglecting my…

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Jun 30 2014

The Weekend Hooray

A week feels like an eternity here. I have never been so excited to get to a weekend in my life. As a kid, its hard to imagine what your teacher’s do outside of school. For any students reading this of appropriate age, we drink and hang out. We drink and we talk about all…

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Jun 29 2014

Hardest Day so far

By the end of the first day I had learned everyone’s name. That should tell you something about this class. Visitors who are observing, and are in my class for 15 minutes at a time have started to learn all of my students’ names. That should tell you something. They aren’t bad kids, but they…

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First Day of School, First Day of School, First Day of School So this was the very first day of school. I thought I was exhausted last week, ha! This is absolutely insane. I was given a roster with 41 names, then it was reduced to 38. Only 24 showed up. That’s not very promising…

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Jun 18 2014


Okay I know they said I would be tired and hungry, and I am, but I didn’t realize how tired and how hungry. In the grand scheme of things it really isn’t that bad as long as I fall asleep around 11pm. I am up every morning at 5:30 am, in sessions until about 5,…

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