The Ballerina Mathematician

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Jun 18 2012

Nerdy New School Excitement

This blog post seems out of place with so many Institute/Induction/omgTFA! posts, as I’m now officially an alumni going into my third year. However, I’m still allowed to geek out over education. Just the small fact that I received an informative email weeks ahead of starting PD thrills me. This is what my life will be like from now on. I will know what’s happening. I will have my questions answered in a way that makes sense. I will enter a stable work environment. I will be surrounded by positive, inspiring people. I will be happy.

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May 22 2012


It’s incredible that tomorrow is the last day teaching at my school.  On Thursday my 8th graders “continuate” and then I begin a venture into the world of charter schools.  I can hardly believe my TFA experience is ending, but of course we all know that it’s just the corps member component that’s coming to…

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May 03 2012


I found out today that one of my 8th graders is pregnant.  She’s 13 and 3 months along.  After school I heard her talking to one of my girls from last year, who was with her four-month-old.  A mom and a mom-to-be, talking about what pregnancy is like and how to stay strong no matter…

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Apr 05 2012

One of Those Days

Today was one of those days.  The days that I used to have in my first year, when I came home crying and feeling hopeless.  The days where my lesson was terrible and no one learned, even after I re-wrote it the night before (staying up late planning is something I had banished all this year)…

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Mar 08 2012

One Kid

We started state testing this week and it’s a more miserable experience than I recall from last year.  I did have one bright spot, which was then brightened even further today!  I like to write about the bright spots, and this one is a student. To give you some background, S is a brilliant kid…

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Jan 24 2012

Transformational Change

I had my first “Leadership Team” tonight–the second component of training in year two, at least in my region. I am so energized! It was such authentic, meaningful discussion amongst a group of brilliant, talented, modest, thoughtful peers. I loved it.

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Oct 18 2011

what it’s like to be the best

I had three different administrators come up to me today and tell me how great I am.  You see, we had visitors in our school today, and they observed my classroom.  These are the important kind of visitors–the kind hired for the whole area of failing schools to make sure we’re on track.  They are…

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Oct 10 2011

Thoughts of the Future

It has come to my attention that in fewer months than I think I will have to make a decision regarding what to do after TFA.  After.  As though there’s an end to this craziness. I have a degree in ballet and a certification in secondary math.  I love to organize and analyze, I love…

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Oct 08 2011

Classroom Planking

I walked into my advisory one day to find these things occurring: The day before, one of my students had mentioned planking and another asked what the word meant.  We really have no curriculum or structure for advisory, so I decided we should learn about planking that day.  I pulled up the YouTube video from…

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Sep 04 2011

Teacher Rules

Don’t yell Don’t talk too much Be FUN! Don’t chew gum Be prepared Wear the dress code with us Don’t use your cell phone during class Don’t use your computer (unless it’s an emergency) Be organized Treat us fair Let us sit wherever we want Don’t touch us without asking Don’t lie Be creative If…

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May 21 2011

End of Year Pride

My first year had been ending on a very negative note–crazy students, absent administration, low investment on my part and that of the students.  And yet this week, I had 15 students in my room during their lunch period re-taking their test. I was beaming with pride! My students took their end of year assessment…

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Apr 29 2011

An Irrelevant Function

My students took their final district benchmark test today.  I graded the constructed responses as they worked. I had two favorite two responses to “What type of function is this?”, to which the answer should have been quadratic.  The first was “expanction” and the second was “irrelevant” (backed up by “because there is no pattern”).…

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Jul 12 2010

Institute: Week Four

As with all of Institute, Week Four had both ups and downs.  However, when you add it all up I think it comes out positive. Last week I began teaching math, which is my fall placement.  I’ve doubted my ability to teach this subject since I saw the acceptance email back in November but now…

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Jul 04 2010

Institute: Week Three

I’m more than halfway finished with Institute, and I feel like I’ve been here for months and yet not long enough.  It’s hard to believe that I’ll be back in Colorado in less than two weeks, supposedly prepared to run my own classroom. I easily fluctuate between feeling like I have no clue what I’m…

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Jun 19 2010

Insitute: Week One

I love making lists, so here is my summary of week one in Phoenix. Awesome Things About Institute: 1. Each region has its own common room in the dorm. It’s just like Hogwarts! 2. TFA tends to play loud (and awesome) music in the mornings as we pack our lunches at 6:20AM. 3. Every single…

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a dancer's adventure in teaching math

Middle School

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