November 2008 Archives

I have a meeting in half an hour with my teachers and I haven't finished preparing for it yet. I'm sitting in a bagel shop in northeast DC trying to cram in work in between school meetings, but I just spent 20 minutes teaching a little girl whose parents work at the shop to count to 4. I think Teach For America will count this as time well worked....

This is for all the students, teachers, administrators, support staff and families who keep keep on moving. This is for everyone who pauses to mourn and reflect, but refuses to stop the learning and teaching after a fight, a shooting, a stabbing, a threat. Because as scary as it is and as much as you'd rather call out from work tomorrow, it's that whole education thing that's ultimately going to knock out the gangs and violence. In the long run, good, quality teaching is going to be what gives our kids in Anacostia and communities all around the country, a ...

The everlasting question: Public or private? As The Washington Post inevitably reports about the Obamas' personal transition to my hometown, the focus has been on the children's schools. Today's article finally called out the elephant in the room: "Like many parents moving their children to Washington, Barack and Michelle Obama will be told to avoid D.C. public schools. Is that good advice?" Jay Mathews suggests not ruling out public schools and points out that not all of our public schools are so notoriously poor performing. In fact, Thomson Elementary has a rising program and supportive staff and is right ...

It's a pretty magical time in DC's public schools. I couldn't talk to a student about their slope calculations in geometry class until they excitedly asked me who I voted for. I maintain my non-partisanship as a professional and Americorps affiliate, but after enough nagging by a 15-year-old bursting with joy and pinned with Obama buttons, I just had to lean over and whisper, "I Baracked the vote." Later on that day, I bumped into one of my teachers in the hallway at the high school who explained how almost all of her students from her MR (mental retardation) cluster ...


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