Becoming A Chief

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

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Oct 26 2011

Locus of Control.

I am in control of feeling happy, sad or mad. Tomorrow will be a good day. I am determined to make it a good day. Tomorrow is Friday (Well, not really, but yes). Thursday is P/T Conferences. Friday my boyfriend comes to town. I am determined that tomorrow will be a good day and I…

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Oct 22 2011

Slap in the Face.

Student: Mama! Me: Umm, you mean Ms. S? Student: Oops. I still wish you were my Mama. Me: No, you do not. I would not be a good Mom. Student: No, you would be the best Mom. My Mom is a bad Mom. Umm.. I titled this Slap in the Face because every time a…

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Oct 15 2011

Thank You.

I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all that replied to my last post with support, suggestions and ideas. I will begin to respond to everyone this weekend. I would also like to note that the support I received through the readers and bloggers on Teach For Us is one of the…

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Oct 10 2011

Struggling: Give Up or Stay Committed?

At what point do you exit TFA gracefully? Bottom line is: My students are not learning and teaching is effecting my health. I want what is best for them, but honestly, I do not think that person is me. Eight weeks of school have past and they have nothing to show for it. I have…

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Oct 03 2011

PD: Yummy.

Today was seriously one of the best days I have had since coming to KC. Why? Well, my classroom is still a hot mess, but today – the four TFA teachers and I were provided subs from our school administration and spent the day observing and talking. IT WAS SO GREAT. The better part is,…

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Sep 28 2011

Reinvesting in Vision.

Today I reinvested my students in their classroom shared vision. I did this for my “3rd grade homeroom,” Level 4/5 Math and Level 4/5 Communication Arts. I enjoyed spending the whole day listening to my students nominate their fellow “good” classmates and having them share out why their classmates are labeled “good students.” I hope…

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Sep 26 2011


My faith and family come first in my life. They take precedence over TFA, my job and money. I am quickly learning that these two priorities (along with my super supportive boyfriend that is nine hours away) will be the only way I survive the next two years teaching. I may be new at this,…

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Sep 20 2011


During the last five weeks, I probably said “I want to quit” 200 to 5000 times. I was tired, depressed and unhappy with my decision to join TFA and Kansas City. But, something changed. On Thursday night, I left school around 7pm, and for the first time I felt happy walking to my car. This…

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Sep 12 2011

Content? What Content?

Yep, tomorrow starts week five. Yep, I have not even started teaching content. I do not feel that I am being an effective elementary teacher. but life must continue.

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Aug 29 2011

A Legit Apple for the Teacher.

Nope. I’m not talking about the iPad that I will be getting on the 10th of September from Apple and their generous customers, but a real, legit, shiny, red apple. Last week I was surprised when one of my students brought me an apple. What? Is this real life? What is funnier you ask? She…

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Aug 27 2011

Tears, Screaming and Fights. Oh My.

I have been teaching for two weeks. My classroom ranges from students ages 8-11 that are at a reading level 4/5 (1st grade/2nd grade) and a math level of 4/5 (1st grade/2nd grade). This means that most of the students in my leveled classroom are roughly 2 years behind.  (They should be at a level…

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Aug 22 2011


My first week of teaching was rough. Maybe rough is an understatement. Broke up two fights. Had  two students steal from me. Had security called on one student for making a hole in my wall. But, tomorrow starts a new week. How can it get any worse? I know that my students want to learn.…

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Aug 15 2011

Out of Control.

My class was out of control and it was the first day of school. It will get better. It must get better.

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Jul 29 2011

Wait, What?

Wait, what? Tomorrow is the last day of teaching in sunny LA? That can’t be right. I just remember hopping off the plane at LAX. I just remember pulling up to LMU in our taxi. I just remember getting off the bus and meeting my CMA. Wait, what?

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Jul 24 2011

Twenty Percent.

LA Institute has twenty percent left. This is what we were told Friday. That instead of counting down the days, we should be focusing on the amount of time we have left, and how much time we can actually get accomplished. I will admit, I laughed at the black and white slide show that showed…

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Jul 18 2011

My Love for Students.

I have never been one of those people that “awed” at children. I never found children “cute” or “precious.” I still often lie when I say “What a cute baby!” But after two weeks of teaching, I am in love with my students. I never thought I would have such intense feelings for them in…

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Jul 15 2011


I have found myself reflecting a lot lately. This should not come as a surprise if you are familiar with TFA, but I am not only reflecting about my third grade students or ways to become a more effective teacher, I am becoming cognizant about my blessings. Institute is rough. We spend long hours teaching,…

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Jul 06 2011

Teacher Birthday.

Happy First Day of Teaching to Me. Happy First Day of Teaching to Me. Happy First Day -and-things-did-not-go-horribly-wrong of Teaching to Me. And many more….. Today I taught nine 3rd graders how to add and subtract money amounts, and I must say, they did a pretty good job on their exit slip. Now, I do…

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Jul 03 2011

The Hike has Begun.

Week one of Institute is complete. I celebrated by hiking a trail that ends at the Hollywood sign with the Hiking CCG group. There was such breathtaking views on this 5 mile hike. Our reward after we completed it: My first ever In N Out burger. Wait, what? I had free time? Ha. I am…

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Jun 29 2011

I Have A Vision.

Day two of Institute is in the books. I met my CMA, love him. I met my CMA group, so great. And I have put on my helmet, shoulder pads and mouth guard to gear up for a challenging 4 and a half weeks. Vision Setting was the theme for the day. When we first…

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Jun 27 2011

Los Angeles: What I Love.

Today I hopped off a plane at LAX, got in a cab and headed to Loyola Marymount University. I want Institute to be a positive experience so this is what I already love about LA. 1. The Weather. It is beautiful. I cannot even use words to explain it. 2. LMU’s campus. 3. LMU’s food…

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Jun 25 2011

Best In Show.

Induction wrapped up on Thursday and I found it to be enjoyable! Throughout the week I had a few personal “aha” moments. 1. I know this is the right region for me. Even though I am far from Florida and still a nine hour drive from my loved ones in Wisconsin – the vision our…

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Jun 22 2011

The Draft

I have been at induction since Sunday in good old Kansas City. Introductions have been made, handshakes have been given and stories are being exchanged. I am fired up about being here. The Kansas City Missouri School District (KCMSD) wants to ignite change. We, the 160 ’11 Corps Members, were drafted to become a part…

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Jun 17 2011

Two Suitcases and a Vera Bradley Bag

Tomorrow I will load up my car with two suitcases and my collection of Vera Bradley. With that being said, I have to first pack these bags. I do not know where to even begin. It is hard for me to plan today what I will want to wear and what I will need for…

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Jun 14 2011

Becoming a KCMO Chief

Becoming A Chief is the title of my blog for several reasons: First, my TFA experience will be in Kansas City, MO. Kansas City is home to the KC Chiefs, a pro football team (I love football). Secondly, Chiefs are leaders. I want to become a teacher who leads and inspires. Lastly, I want my…

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