the ferrous wheel

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Aug 18 2010


It’s been real, TeachForUs. Thanks for getting me through these two years and listening to me rant and ramble about my everyday shenanigans as a teacher in urban DC.
I’ll miss you, TeachFor.Us network, and fellow TFA veterans! To any new or prospective corps member reading this, rock on. You will find it in you to persevere, and you will come away with some of the most heartrending, infuriating, and hilarious stories to tell – and please do tell them!
Also, if you have been following my posts and are looking for high school science resources, I am in the process of a massive upload of physics and chemistry long term plans, successful labs, and major assessments. I am not sure if this link works, but you can find a start to my resources here. You’ll have to log in to TFAnet, of course.

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Aug 10 2010

Missing teaching

I’m missing teaching already. It’s been two days since I’ve gotten to the Big Apple, moved into my new dorm (dorm life, again?), and I still don’t feel at home here. I realize that a lot of this has to do with the anxiety of being in a new, foreign place – especially a place…

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Jul 22 2010

Top ten blog of the decade!

I just realized that my blog made #10 on the list of top ten TeachFor.Us blogs of the decade. Wow – I had no idea so many people were reading. Or maybe it’s just that the people who do read my blog visit it often? In any case, thank you! I’ve just returned from a…

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Jun 22 2010

My last day

Tomorrow’s my official last day as a teacher. Sure, I might drop by the building purely out of habit throughout the summer, but tomorrow is the day I say goodbye to my classroom, which has been my safe haven, my hell, my entire life for about 730 days. It’s strange. I don’t know what to…

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Jun 18 2010


I have this kid who is extremely chauvinist. It shows in his behavior toward other female students, and how disrespectful he is to some of his female teachers. Anyhow, he and I get along fairly well, though I don’t particularly like him that much because – there’s no better way to put it – he’s…

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Jun 17 2010

Crazy things heard during portfolios

“The middle passage was called the middle passage because it was in the summer time and it was hot.” – Student presenting her history project on letters from the perspective of a slave. “Ms. K can you sign my paper?” Then, while standing in front of us, to another student, “What the f—? F— that…

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Jun 15 2010

Fading away

One of my students made this comment earlier last week: “It seems like school is just fading away, doesn’t it?” This school year is dwindling to an end. It’s portfolio week, but the turnout has been abysmally low – I’ve got at least seven students on my roster to present today, and only three showed…

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Jun 11 2010

Learned helplessness

A quick recap of what just happened in my classroom ten minutes ago: One of my students, A, has a portfolio prep packet. It just so happens that she lost the physics version of the handout, so I ended up giving her a spare copy from my chemistry classes. One sentence starter reads, “I can…

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Jun 11 2010

Last day of classes…ever.

It is officially the last day of classes.  Portfolios start next week, which means that time will be largely unstructured – kids coming in, presenting their final projects for each class, and leaving when they finish.  Part of me always wishes that the end of the year were more structured, so that I could get…

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Jun 05 2010

Senior Banquet

Last night was the senior banquet, a night for seniors, parents, and teachers to reflect on their experience. Last year I didn’t attend, since I didn’t teach any seniors. This year, I teach or have taught the majority of the seniors, so it was an incredibly significant event for both me and them. First, a…

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teaching kids to love science

D.C. Region
High School

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