Monthly Archives: July 2008

Is it better to succed at trying to be good or fail at trying to be great?

Is it better to succed at trying to be good or fail at trying to be great? This is a fundamental question that’s at the heart at my differences with TFA with regard to the training of the CMs. Looking … Continue reading

Posted in Institute Critique, Teach For America, Teaching Advice | 6 Comments

Common teacher mistake #5

Common teacher mistake #5 — Making the first test too difficult. It’s important that all your students succeed on the first formal assessment. Even if you’ve conducted enough ‘informal’ assessments that they’ve convinced you that they’ve learned, the students need … Continue reading

Posted in Common Teacher Mistakes, Teach For America, Teaching Advice | 3 Comments

Some signs of improvement

Some signs of improvement. There were a lot of good comments on my last post. I’m all for ‘open exchange’ even if people don’t agree with me. I’m hearing a lot of people say that TFA is receptive to constructive … Continue reading

Posted in Teach For America | 1 Comment

The secret TFA ‘quit rate’ revealed

The secret TFA ‘quit rate’ revealed. Let me first say that, despite my recent ‘suggestions’ for TFA, I think that it is a good organization. I criticize it the way a patriot of the U.S. might when it feels we’re … Continue reading

Posted in favorites, Teach For America | 6 Comments

A critique of the TFA ‘Classroom Management & Culture’ booklet

A critique of the TFA ‘Classroom Managment & Culture’ booklet. At the institute they use as a text a series of books that comprise the institute curriculum. Who wrote these books, I’m really not sure. But looking over the 162 … Continue reading

Posted in Institute Critique | 2 Comments

Common teacher mistake #4

Common teacher mistake #4: Too much enthusiasm on the first day. My first year, I was wrongly under the impression that my task on the first day was to ‘wow’ my class and get their attention. As good as this … Continue reading

Posted in Common Teacher Mistakes, Teach For America, Teaching Advice | 2 Comments

Common teacher mistake #3

Common teacher mistake #3. Overusing cooperative learning. Cooperative learning is a great tool when used properly and when used in moderation. Unfortunately some schools have ‘bought in’ to this method so much that teachers are actually mandated to seat their … Continue reading

Posted in Common Teacher Mistakes, Teach For America, Teaching Advice | 3 Comments

A proud day for me

What’s the #1 selling book in the ‘Classroom Managment’ category of Amazon.com? Give up? Well, as of today, I’m proud to say, it’s my ‘Reluctant Disciplinarian.’ You can have the content for free, however, on YouTube. I posted the workshop … Continue reading

Posted in Teach For America | 1 Comment

The ‘evolultion’ of the TFA institute

The ‘evolution’ of the TFA institute. You’d expect the 2008 institute, eighteen years after the first institute at USC, to be very different and superior to its 1990 ancestor. As someone who was around since the second institute, and who … Continue reading

Posted in favorites, Institute Critique | 3 Comments

“Are you a new teacher?”

“Are you a new teacher?” Some kid is definitely going to ask you so what are you going to say? What most new TFA teachers incorrectly think is the best way to answer this is to exaggerate the seventeen days … Continue reading

Posted in Teach For America, Teaching Advice | 4 Comments