So, when I heard that tonight’s speech was titled “What’s Next at Teach For America,” my heart leapt, then sunk, then leapt again. As someone who has been (impatiently) waiting to see the results of the listening tour undertaken by Matt Kramer and Elisa Villanueva Beard, TFA’s co-CEOs, I was excited to see what was coming next at the organization. But then, of course, came the doubts and the jaded nature you can get when you’re part of an organization for five years. Would there really be anything new? While I’ve seen TFA change throughout my tenure—I came in as a corps member, and now am part of the social-media team—I wasn’t sure where the event’s message was headed. Continue reading
One missed call.
One new text message.
“Are you home yet?”
It’s my mom, and I’m almost an hour into a rambling meeting about behavior issues at my school. I glance around the room, looking to see where administrations’ attention lies.
“Is everything okay?” I respond.
“Just call when you can.”
I wait an hour before getting up and walking to the bathroom to see what is wrong. Continue reading
I know how swamped weekday nights can be when you’re a teacher. My Tuesday nights as a corps member were often spent with five cups of coffee, figuring out the math game or read-aloud I’d use in my classroom’s centers. So I know that our “What’s Next at Teach For America” event next week might be a tough sell, but I wanted to reach out and give you a preview of what we’ll be up to and why I hope you will join us. (If you can’t make it, we’ll be posting a recording online; it’ll be worth the watch.)
- Matt Kramer, my co-CEO, will be sharing some news about future initiatives and addressing ones we’ve already got in place.
- I’ll be addressing some common critiques of the organization and sharing why I truly believe in what we do.
- We’ll be hearing from Stacy Crescencio—a senior at Cane Ridge High School in Nashville—who is headed to college next fall.
- Annie Driskell, a New Mexico ‘07 alumna, will be sharing her story.
- Matt and I will be hosting a Q&A session, where we’ll answer not only pre-submitted questions from our staff, corps members, and alumni, but also from our live audience and Twitter.
I’ll also be telling my personal story on Tuesday. I want to share my experiences with educational inequity, both as an alumna and as a Mexican-American woman. I’d be honored if you’d be a part of the event. Join us at www.teachforamerica.org/live on Tuesday, March 4, at 7 P.M. EST and tweet using #teachforamerica.
I know. You saw the title of this post and thought it was an oxymoron, right?! Teacher OFFICES?! Yes, you heard me right. And I’m not talking about big desks in classrooms. I am talking about real-deal, bona fide offices.
I frequently hear from teachers that one of the biggest challenges to using time wisely during the school day is that there is simply no PLACE to work that is free from interruptions and distractions, AND has all the necessary materials to actually get anything done. (Side note: These offices differ from a great teacher’s lounge, the subject of one of our most popular blog posts.)
Here’s how I found them: while roaming the halls of Excel Academy in Boston a few weeks ago, I stumbled upon this door:
Feeling a bit bold, I knocked quietly. A teacher let me in, and after profusely apologizing for interrupting, I was floored. A room for teachers to work. . . quietly. . . professionally. . . with PRINTERS. . . and real office chairs…and all professional books in ONE accessible location—not stacked in boxes at home (ahem, Jack) or buried in classroom closets. Continue reading