Mr. B’s Blog

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

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So I think my family tries to hint to me when they want me to update. I really enjoy reading your blog. You write so well. Or, I really enjoy hearing about all you’re doing. It’s great to read your blog. BUT, alas, I’ve neglected the cyber world of my life for far too long…

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Apr 22 2009

Updates galore!

Goodness it’s been a while. I think I just found 10 minutes or so to squeeze in an update so I’ll do my best to update. My last post wasn’t met well by family. They want the meat and potatoes of my teaching life, not the fact that I enjoy sitting along the Hudson. FINE!…

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Mar 21 2009

Could the view BE any more beautiful?

I just got home from a night in Hoboken. Had an AMAZING conversation with, quite honestly, one of the best friends I’ve had in a LONG time. We were coming home and decided to sit on a bench in a park. It was located right along the Hudson River, across from NYC. Again, could anything…

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Jan 04 2009

long overdue post

Happy 2009  I got back to lovely ol’ Newark on Friday after 2 “fantastic” days of driving with the stomach flu. I don’t know who got the great idea of DRIVING home for break (all fingers point to me though) but the drive back wasn’t nearly as exciting as the drive TO michigan. I guess…

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Nov 15 2008

End of my first quarter!

So Friday was the day grades were due for the first quarter. When I hit submit on my last student, this sense of accomplishment came over me. Rougly 10 weeks of teaching completed. Grades done and entered? Completed. I felt….like a teacher. It was a good feeling.  To top it off, it was payday. Which…

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Oct 15 2008

running low on fuel

Monday was Columbus Day. What that meant was no school for us. That was great because it created a 3 day weekend and the opportunity to go home and surprise my mom for her birthday. By surprise, I mean really surprise. I’m 99.9% positive she had no idea I was coming home. That was great.…

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Sep 22 2008

work, eat, plan, sleep, repeat

My dad made me realize this is what my life will be from now on. Work, eat, sleep, repeat. I add “plan” in between “eat” and “sleep” because no matter how hard I try to get all my planning done at school, I wind up bringing work home to do. I’m not complaining. It’s just…

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Sep 07 2008

first week? done

So I finished my first week of teaching on Friday. It was….insane, intense, incredible. Something I’ve decided to call “the three i’s” I thought I was prepared. I felt prepared. I was prepared…somewhat. It was a completely different dynamic from teaching in Philadelphia this summer and completely overwhelming. I know I will get better at…

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Aug 24 2008

a long overdue update

So this is super long overdue but I figured I owed some of the readers an update as to what’s been going on. Quick recap: Left Philly on August 2nd. Moved into Newark on August 2nd. Started work August 4th. I’ve been doing professional development stuff ever since. The good news: My kids start on…

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Aug 11 2008

Kasserian ingera

*EDIT* Credit for the following to Rev. Dr. Patrick T. O’Neill   Among the most accomplished tribes of Africa, no tribe was considered to have warriors more fearsome or more intelligent than the mighty Masai. It is perhaps surprising then to learn the traditional greeting that passed between Masai warriors was “Kasserian ingera”, which translated means…

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Jul 31 2008

Last Day of School

Today was the last day of school at Fairhill for my students. I finish tomorrow. I can’t believe 5 weeks has gone by so…fast. I hesitate because at some times, it feels like it’s crawled by, but it definitely feels like it’s flown by. I’ve learned so much. About teaching, myself, and most importantly the…

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Jul 23 2008

How ARE the children?

That was a question posed by my school director on Monday morning of this week, to ground us in the fact that summer school (and therefore TFA’s institute in Philly) is almost over. A question designed to push us to constantly ask this question (as if we haven’t been already), to keep our reason for…

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2nd straight day of emotional lows…it really makes me sad but it definiely grounds me in the seriousness and importance of what I am doing. *note, I’m using letters for student names, not their real names for privacy reasons. The letters do not coordinate with their real names*  Me to a group of 2 students…

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Jul 15 2008

Not a very good day

So today was TFA day. Granted, TFA usually stands for Teach For America but today they called it “Totally Free Afternoon”. We got to leave our school’s at 1:30ish instead of the usual 4:30. I took a much needed nap, grabbed dinner, and then started lesson planning. Then, it all fell apart.  My students today…

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Jul 11 2008

LONG overdue update

I completed my first almost full week of teaching today. I say almost because I won’t be teaching tomorrow (Friday). I am actually on my way back to Michigan for my sister’s wedding which is Friday. It feels like it’s been so long since I’ve been able to give a good update about what’s been…

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Jul 07 2008

History starts now…

Can’t talk very long. Just don’t want people thinking I’ve fallen off the face of the earth.  It’s been VERY busy here at institute lately. Lesson planning, getting into my teacher mentality, and just getting excited to work with 12 kindergartners starting tomorrow. My future roomate and I found a place in New Jersey this…

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Jul 02 2008

Just adding to the alphabet soup

SWBAT (student will be able to) tell me what I teach him according to the lp (lesson plan). SW (student will) show me what I teach her. TW (teacher will) show students what they need to know. So my life has pretty much come down to using abbreviations. It’s sort of insane. BUT, the great…

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Jun 30 2008

Alphabet Soup

So today was the first full day of Philly institute 2008. We went to our placement schools, where we will spend the next 5 weeks helping teach summer school to some of Philadelphia’s underserved students. We will make the “big gains” TFA staff speaks about, all while making incredible friendships with our own corps and…

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Jun 29 2008

Philly Institute Day 1

Just about to head to bed after an exhausting first day here at TFA’s Philadelphia’s summer institute (think teacher boot camp/training/professional development). Quick summary: -88 degrees at 9 a.m. -Having to use THREE different luggage carts because carts 1 and 2 broke on me, sending all of my stuff onto the ground and spilling out…

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Jun 28 2008

all my bags are packed…

Well, institute is upon me. My car is packed and I’m about to head to bed (much later than I desire might I add). I hope to leave my house between 8 and 9 a.m. so that I can be at the house of the person who’s riding with me (another TFA-Newark CM) between 9…

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Jun 23 2008

What do teachers make?

This video is REALLY inspiring. Warning: There’s a couple inappropriate words. I tried to embed the video, but it just wasn’t working so you’ll have to check out this link:    

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Jun 12 2008

Are you going to miss East Lansing?

Those were the words of my friend from work Skip the other night as we were walking out of the building. It’s weird. I don’t think I am. I’m going to miss the memories, but the “feeling” of the city (if that even makes sense) is something I don’t know if I’ll miss. I’ve always…

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This isn’t really TFA post. Oh well.  For the past 4 years, I’ve coached lacrosse in East Lansing. The first two were for the 7th/8th grade team, the third was with the high school JV team, and this year I helped coach the varsity team. My experience coaching the first year was part of what helped…

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May 24 2008

May Days

Can’t write much. Just got back to Michigan from 3 days in Newark for May Days (TFA-Newark’s regional induction.) Despite the fact that I know how hard everything will be, just being out there, seeing teachers in action, and hearing people talk about the things Newark schools are doing even WITHOUT TFA is really inspiring.…

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I just walked into my bedroom from doing some of my pre-institute reading on my balcony. I took a quick glance at my cap from my graduation a couple of weeks ago. My tassel hanging on the left side of the mortar board signifying that I had, in fact, graduated from college. I’ve been using…

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Mr. B’s attempts at closing the achievement gap

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