Caroline in the Delta

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

Archives › 2012 › February

Considering I just spent literally two and a half hours reading education blogs, I figure I may as well just top it off with a post. I can’t gauge how embarrassing it is that I’ve been updating, on average, three times a week for the past three months. I was feeling pretty good about my…

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Feb 26 2012

Lazu’s Letter, asking for your help.

Hey y’all, I have a student, Lazu (fake!), who needs some help. I’m going to let her do the talking because she wrote the following letter, but I’ll add one bit of context: when we wrote essays last week about which 6th grade student should speak at promotion based on behavior, grades, kindness, and all-around…

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Feb 26 2012

Student writing/Teacher flattery

Prompt: Your school is giving an “Outstanding Teacher” award. Your principal has asked you to write an essay in which you choose a teacher who deserves the award and give reasons why.           An outstanding teacher is a teacher thats not only nice to other teachers, but also to students. I think there are quite…

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Feb 26 2012

Brax writing/Teacher perplexity

Brax, well. Brax zipped through the multiple choice section of the test, closed it, and sat with his pencil in his lap. I watched him glance around and watch the rest of the class write their essays. I watched him break his mechanical pencil into pieces. I watched him for five minutes, then crouched low…

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Feb 23 2012

Humility.

I almost cried during recess. My panel of four female student judges were in my room for talent show auditions. Our first time slot didn’t show because he was in In School Suspension (he called me while I was driving to the airport after school to see if he can still audition, — adorable —…

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Feb 21 2012

Lundi gras remnants.

The morning is an anxiety identical to that experienced almost every day last year: the impossible gut feeling that something is wrong, the absolute uncertainty that you have any control over any part of your environment or day, the pressing ache of wanting to fix it and not knowing how, the disorientation. Arriving at school…

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Feb 16 2012

Flattery. | Caroline in the Delta

This morning I arrived at school late, 7:30. This week I’ve prioritized sleep above all else, literally. I have had nothing less than seven hours of sleep every night, in an attempt to thwart this cold from getting the best of me. I thought I had kicked it until fourth period today, when I starting…

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I don’t know how it happened, but down south Valentine’s Day is the most publicly celebrated holiday in school. Enough so that parents get notices about the time they are allowed to bring gifts, lists of students five minutes long are called over the PA to go get the gifts, and everyone walks home with…

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Feb 10 2012

Unmarking what’s in stone.

One of my favorite students is Brax. He was quiet and calm early in the year. Around a third grade reading level, he told me chapter books were much too hard for him, and that he liked books with pictures. When he got his first Diary of a Wimpy Kid book in his hand, he…

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Feb 08 2012

Talent show meeting #1.

My blog is basically becoming spam, I’m aware. Dwindling readership will not be a surprise, but I can’t help it. Daily, minor explosions of incredible go off like hand grenades. Scattered and unexpected. Catching me off guard, showering me with not debris and horror, but an attack that I can’t ignore. Caroline, look at what…

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Feb 07 2012

POTENTIAL BURSTING.

Bria is a student in my homeroom class. She is tough. She’s going to grow up tough. She’s the kind of girl that has a hard face, threatening posture, and a tendency to lash out when provoked. Sixth grade is an amazing year for kids like her (speaking as a teacher), because they’re tough but…

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Feb 07 2012

Rebirth and Victory.

Monday is the weekly rebirth. I often feel like in the gap between 7pm Sunday night at 7am Monday morning, I forget how to teach. I forget I’ve been teaching for over a year, I forget that I have any idea what I’m doing. Then I get to school, shuffle around for an hour, and…

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Feb 03 2012

Pretenses.

Thank God it’s Friday, for my kids’ sake more than my own. Today I was downright a word I wouldn’t publish in a blog, and I could feel it. I could feel the poison seeping out of me, negativity washing down my face, pushing the frizz off the side of my head, weighing down each…

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Feb 02 2012

What goes up

I need to go outside, stand in the sun for a while. Read 1Q84 for a while, call my sister. I’m friends with a chunk of TFA Detroit, and as a result my kids are pen-pals with a nice bunch at a charter. Yesterday talking with a Detroit CM, I learned one of our pen-pals…

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