Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Feb 23 2014

Badges: Persistence

A conversation I had with one of my students (B) during math office hours on Thursday keeps replaying in my head.  He’s one of my A students who, for several months, was aiming for (and earning) 100% in my class.  He was struggling with an exercise on KhanAcademy, not because he didn’t know it, but because he was going too fast and kept hitting “check answer” before checking his work or rereading the problem.
B: I give up.  I’m not doing this anymore.  I’m just going to fail.  I don’t care.  I’m not going to college.
Me: (Having spent the last twenty minutes telling him I refused to let him give up.)  You’re a mess right now.  I’m done with you.  You’re going to finish this with me next week and I’m not letting you walk away until you reach mastery, but right now I’m done with you.  (B laughs at me.)

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This school year has been rough on me.  Like every year, I have an incredible group of students.  However, this year’s group needs a lot of extra love and patience in ways that can, at times, be wearing on a teacher that already pours every ounce of their day into loving their children.  So as…

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Sep 14 2013

My Ceiling is Collapsing

I am a bit ridiculous with emotions sometimes.  For example, I cry through a lot of TV shows (especially season finales).  If it’s about politics I’m probably going to cry and if it’s about fighting for the downtrodden then there’s no doubt the waterworks are coming.  But last Tuesday night I just cried.  Had I…

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Aug 25 2013

Time to Write

My fingers itch.  I need to write.  Not the stories of the seemingly absurd happenings of my classrooms in years 1, 2 or 3.  Those are anecdotes that in reality I share with thousands of other first, second, and third year teachers.  They are entertaining anecdotes, perhaps self-aggrandizing narratives that avoid telling the horrifying story…

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Jun 08 2011

Our Big Goal Math Haikus

Today I asked my students to write me a haiku for their warm up about their goal as they are working towards 80% or higher on their final exams.  Below are the ones that worked (or almost got the syllables right). To give some context:  Any student that achieves the big goal will be invited…

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Jun 04 2011

LA Homicide Reports

Sometimes I find myself drawn to the homicide reports in the LAtimes.  I zoom in on the area where my school is located.  It has the largest red circle of the LA metropolitan area (denoting the most homicides this year).  I search the list for names I know, or deaths that are between 12 and…

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One morning of my first year teaching I walked into my classroom and my heart froze.  All I could think was some one had done this out of spite.  My desks and chairs were strewn everywhere, files and papers that were (somewhat) organized for grading or lessons were in heaps thrown everywhere.  And what truly…

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Jul 23 2010

Addressing the 2008 Corps

I have been wanting to update this blog for a while.  In the spirit of an older post, I’d like to share a draft of a speech I submitted for the 2008 corps alumni induction.  While I was accepted to speak at the event, this is not the final speech that was used. For the…

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Mar 07 2010

My TFA Speech

I have been asked to speak next weekend at a small event to raise awareness of and support for Teach for America. They asked me to speak for five minutes about my experience in the classroom. Below is what I have prepared for the event: Good evening. My name is M_______ Weinberg, and I am…

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Feb 06 2010

The van I’m driving.

Since I started teaching, I have been plagued by nightmares of school during the holiday vacations. My second year teaching has been much better. The nightmares do not come nightly, only when I am away from the classroom for a period of time. Perhaps I fear returning to what I had last year. That the…

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a Teach For America teacher’s blog

Los Angeles
Middle School

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