Archives › Teach For America

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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Jan 30 2014

Rocket

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…

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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…

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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…

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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!

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Nov 14 2013

TKO

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…

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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.…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Jun 09 2011

Sidestep

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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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May 20 2011

The Show Goes On (Part 1)

by Lupe Fiasco I think it’s pretty funny, in the grand scheme of things – that I called out someone on their racism on this site and got heat for it, when, about an hour earlier, the individual in question called herself racist (or more accurately, guilty of what she called ‘discrete racism’). How maintaining-of-the-power-structure…

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May 19 2011

This is why I’m hot

by Mims I’m so PISSED right now. I need to remind myself that there are amazing, inspiring, down CMs who are DOING WORK every single day. For now it’s a little eclipsed by open racism by CMs (who for whatever reason love to talk about their racism on this very website). In fact, a CM…

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May 18 2011

We are not the same…

…I am a martian (‘Phone Home’ by weezy). I came to a (sad) realization today. I ordered a bunch of clothes from Macys. I’m obsessed with bright colors (OBSESSED). I did somehow convince myself to order 4 items of clothing in basic black or beige. I got them today and tried on the boring professional…

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