Archives › Teach For America

May 14 2014

Are You Ready?

One thing I’m really good at is talking to white teachers (who are ready) about how to interrupt white supremacy in the classroom. Obviously this matters to me, because I’m over and done with the criminalization of black and brown kids (and adults) and I’d like to see the end of the school to prison…

read more »
May 07 2014

Learning is cool tho

I’m sure you know about about MIT offering a good chunk of it’s courses online for free right here. This summer, in addition to writing the best math curriculum ever and building an app to go with it, I plan to take courses on Single Variable Calculus (to put my head in the place of…

read more »

It’s the end of the year and hopefully your classroom feels like a family. If it doesn’t (or it feels like a family who has spent a little to much time together) then go back to the basics and try these steps: Make connections: When I learned a particular student’s name was shared with a…

read more »
Apr 08 2014

On Teaching Black

Note: this post is teaching black, not teaching while black. That’s another whole thing that we’ll talk about later. This post is about teaching in a way consistent with black cultural codes (don’t be racist, I’m talking about the things that are awesome about black culture, because there isn’t a single problem with the black…

read more »

Hey TeachForUs, Just wanted to let you know about the free financial aid one-on-one consultations my organization, The Hip Hop Education Project, is offering to high school seniors trying to interpret their financial aid packages. Please let any high school teachers / students / parents you know that this is completely free and all students…

read more »
Apr 02 2014

The Engagement Diaries

It’s super important to teach kids your values (not because they don’t come in with values of their own, but because it’s important for them to understand why your classroom is structured as it is). Okay so you’re putting values on the table right? You can only enact those values when your classroom is structured around those…

read more »
Mar 19 2014

The World is Yours

Hey Teachforus – I’m starting a critical hip-hop pedagogy reading group. I’m really interested in engaging teachers, former teahcers and soon-to-be teachers. Everything I do is fun fun fun, so if you’re in the Bay Area and even a little interested, please be so kind as to fill out this google doc (it’ll take you…

read more »
Feb 27 2014

Sorry #ResistTFA

Listen, if you knew me 3 years ago, every other word out of my mouth was a critique of TFA. I still have a few left over and at this point they’re awesome. However, I’d like to share a thing I appreciate about TFA after teaching in a very non-TFA school that works with low-income…

read more »
Jan 30 2014


by Beyonce I’m working on this curriculum (hint it has to do with Beyonce) and I’m thinking a lot about innovation. I’m also thinking about interrupting. Before I joined TFA I did anti-violence work including trying to keep kids away from commercial sex trafficking. One of my 75 million projects is to develop this anti-trafficking…

read more »
Dec 15 2013

Just a Moment

by Nas Let us all have a Beyonce moment. Let us all drop something unexpectedly beautiful on the world. Let us create and create and create and share about our loves and our loses. Let’s love and honor our bodies, let’s push ourselves to understand how powerful women are. Let’s do something different, something people…

read more »
Nov 26 2013

I Know I Can

by Nas This song is really the perfect metaphor for hip-hop pedagogy.  Why? Peep this video Also – you’ll hear some follow up from last weeks conversation as the role of teacher as instructor and “inspirer.” It’s cool to be a good instructor, but it’s a game changer to be a real teacher – someone…

read more »
Nov 15 2013

Video Killed The Radio Star

- The Buggles So I made a video. I’m just trying to talk to kids about their rights in the classroom and maybe share some math hacks. We should teach empowered students. We’ll see where the channel goes, but here’s the premiere!

read more »
Nov 14 2013


by Justin Timberlake Obviously, I’m on a Timbo kick – but that’s “Not a Bad Thing” (see what I did there??!?) Anyway – before I digress into my deep and abiding love for Mr. Timberlake, let me talk about charter applications: they are long. My Charter School application will be about 330-350 pages. They will…

read more »
Nov 13 2013

Not a Bad Thing

by Justin Timberlake Lately things have been interesting: I’ve gone from intense disappointment and intense anger with TFA to a sort of compromise between myself and the organization. Now this isn’t to say that all is well philosophically between TFA and me, BUT I think I have a better idea where TFA is coming from.…

read more »
Nov 09 2013

One Mic

by Nas Hey Teachforus – This is just a heads up that I’m back and will be blogging as a more seasoned and even more reflective teacher. Here are the quit hits: I hate TFA less (but still think it’s problematic) I’m starting a school (because why talk shit without solving problems?) I think conversation…

read more »
Jul 04 2011

I hate TFA

I really do. It’s a song – it’s just the words haven’t been written for it yet. There’s so much bullshit – I could fill a swimming pool. Instead – I’ll just bow out (of blogging on TeachForUs). What? You thought I’d back off teaching the kids because TFA is a hot mess? No fucking…

read more »
Jun 28 2011

The Kool-Aid

So hey y’all. It’s been a few – not because I didn’t have time, but because frankly I wasn’t sure I wanted to share my thoughts. Teach for America is a hot as mess in many ways and the amount of racist and ridiculous things I’ve heard over the past week and a half have…

read more »
Jun 20 2011

Fool That I Am

by Adele Tomorrow I move to California. I’m packed and ready. I’m excited – but not quite as excited as I thought I’d be. Don’t get me wrong – I’m THRILLED about teaching, it’s just that at the end of the day I still have reservations about TFA as an organization. Like why do they…

read more »
Jun 09 2011


by Robin Thicke Today I was teaching 4th grade and had the opportunity to see what quilombo (an old school Brazilian Portuguese word that literally translates to whorehouse, but is used to refer to something that is a ridiculously large hot mess) surrounding public education for ELL students in my sill hometown that we’ll just…

read more »
Jun 04 2011

Spit It Out

By Slipknot File this post under “kids do the darndest things.” Today I was observing my father teach and as I sat outside during recess. A student did something that will forever be etched into my mind. First you need to meet the characters: Ms. B – A fifth grade teacher at my father’s school…

read more »
May 31 2011

Let’s Take A Ride

by Justin Timberlake. I believe I now have an explanation for my amazing ability to drive a standard while texting, changing the music and putting on mascara. According to a wealth of research and some recently highlighted by the nytimes: Q. One would think bilingualism might help with multitasking — does it? A. Yes, multitasking…

read more »
May 31 2011

Teach you a lesson

by Robin Thicke I’ve been spending a lot of time teaching and doing observations in the rather affluent district in which I received my primary and secondary education. I find myself tackling some strange sensations. I see a lot of time wasting (while acknowledging that it’s the end of the year so the time-wasting might…

read more »
May 25 2011

Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours

by Stevie Wonder. Today was my last day at work (no more arguing with lawyers!). Accordingly – it felt really real that I’m actually becoming a teacher. I have a placement, I have a school, on August 15th – I’ll have students. Awesome responsibility, AWESOME. Since I’m sans job – I’ll be spending the rest…

read more »
May 23 2011

Beautiful Surprise

by India Arie Color me surprised (and pardon the bad pun!). People seem to love when I write about race – that or they really hate it. I got about 3 times more hits than my average for my comments on racism. Interesting – I’m not really sure how I feel about that. I definitely…

read more »
May 23 2011

99 Problems

by Jay-Z I got 99 problems but A PLACEMENT AIN’T ONE! I have a placement at a wonderful elementary school and I adore the school. I’m gonna share all the details when I actually know what grade level I’m teaching (not knowing what grade level I’m teaching is KILLING me, I want to unit plan…

read more »