Changing School Governance

Charter schools have largely been a niche operation, serving few students relative to the number of students served by traditional public school systems. Successful charter schools have also generally been seen as a specific intervention, a model for another, single, excellent school. However, the conversation has shifted in recent years to charter schools as structural…

Family First

I had been in a funk over the weekend and the first three days of the week. Literally, no desire to work, breaking down if anyone probed me on how I was doing, and basically feeling like nothing was going well. It was the worst I had felt since the first week of school.


I just want to celebrate. A student who received an F for the first quarter, just got a 100% on his last quiz. There’s no better feeling, then seeing the pride he took, in doing so well. And, I’ve never seen a bigger smile. All the planning, the late nights, it’s worth it.

Why Blog?

Thank you to all my readers and friends who have contributed comments and thoughts to this blog. I love the community and the way you’ve helped me grow as a teacher, and I hope that I’ve helped you as well! Now that my blog posts are coming more frequently, I just wanted to brainstorm a…

How to Make the Most out of Multiple Choice Questions

Multiple choice questions. We’ve all had to take them. After all, they’re easy to grade. Run the scantrons through the scantron machine… 10 seconds/scantron later, you have a printout of what each student received on his/her individual test, as well as an itemized report of what percentage of students answered each question correctly. Multiple choice…

Practice Makes Perfect

I do not remember when I stumbled across this tidbit of wisdom, but to all teachers and managers of people out there, once I learned and internalized this concept, my ability to shepherd 90 5th graders to order and success skyrocketed.

Diverting the Waters

Never have I ever had a week as tough as my first week on the job as a middle school science teacher.

Why Teach For America?

My students come on Monday. I am terrified. There is nothing like it, the first day of being a teacher in my own classroom, MY classroom. I have so much to do. My long term plan (LTP) is in shambles, because I may be completely changing the order I’ll be teaching units. My unit plan…

The End of Institute

A single day at institute can fee incredibly long, but the entire five weeks goes by like the high speed train that whips through a busy platform, leaving only the shuddering of people and buildings in its wake. I said good-bye to my fifth grade students last Friday. They have one glorious month of summer…

The First Three Weeks

This is the first and last of a very long post on my experience thus far as a Teach for America teacher. The first because it’s been a long time coming, the last because I hope that I will update with greater regularity in the coming weeks and years so that posts stay manageable and…