Toni's Class

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
May 27 2012

What a year!

So… life got busy!  After the first week of school, things picked up so quickly that blogging was not a priority.  In the blink of an eye, the first year was over.  And what a year it was!
Some thoughts…
My students are incredible.  They will change the world.  I am excited to see what they accomplish.  They have incredible potential.  Relationships were critical in my teaching this year.  During Institute, I underestimated the importance of relationships–never again.  I genuinely hope I will still be keeping up with these students years from now.
I love my school and my school system.  I had many opportunities to interact with the school system through my certification program and coordinating my maternity leave, and I am so fortunate that they are on the ball.  My district is organized and efficient.  I am grateful.  And I am certified!  My school?  Where to start?  My school is a…

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Aug 14 2011

One Week Down

Time is flying!  It is hard for me to believe that the first week of school is over! I spent the week before school started setting up my classroom, and I have been pleased with the results.  I also spent a great deal of time preparing my lesson plans.  Sometimes, it seems like I could…

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Jul 31 2011

One Week Until the Students Arrive

Time is really flying now!  All of TFA’s summer training is over, and I am officially in the hands of my school district and school. Early last week, our school district hosted its orientation.  The orientation was wonderful—district leaders shared their mission and vision, along with a healthy dose of well-deserved district pride.  An incredibly…

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Jul 24 2011

Round Zero

It is hard to believe that Round Zero has already come and gone. Round Zero was a four-day intensive training hosted by our Atlanta Teach for America staff, designed to prepare us for our next year of teaching.  Much of the training was focused specifically on the first eight weeks of school, which are rapidly…

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Jul 12 2011

The Flaming Hot Cheeto Incident

On our last day of summer school, we threw a pizza party to reward our students for achieving certain goals in connection with their academic performance and behavior.  We also had some chips available.  Chips have been a very popular reward in our summer school reading class, especially Flaming Hot Cheetos.  The Flaming Hot Cheetos…

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Jul 09 2011


A few days ago, our class was divided into groups.  The groups were diligently answering questions on a worksheet.  A student in one of the groups raised his hand.  “Mrs. T, I don’t understand this question.” The question pertained to information in a pie chart.  The pie chart purported to show the percentages of races…

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Jul 06 2011

One More, Please

Each day, we have a period we call academic intervention.  Academic intervention is a period in which four teachers divide their time among the sixteen students in our class.  We can work one-on-one or in small groups.  We can review materials covered earlier in the day in class.  We can go over individual assessments to…

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Jul 02 2011

Teacher is the Student

I once (rather arrogantly) told my husband “Some people follow rules; others make them.” Let me tell you how those words taste… I have a student who is incredibly bright.  She consistently participates in class, makes keen observations, and asks relevant, insightful questions.  She performs well on most of her assessments.  She is extremely likeable. …

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Jun 28 2011

I Know.

One of the most exciting things I have experienced as a teacher at Institute so far is the enthusiasm in the eyes of a student who has done well. Very few, if any, of my students look enthused as they walk through the classroom door in the morning.  It’s early.  It’s summer.  Their friends are…

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I don’t even know where to start.  I was going to write about the insane Institute schedule, but I think I will pass.  Just note that everything you have heard about Institute is absolutely true.  Mornings start at 4 am and end at 10 pm.  Six hours of sleep is best-case scenario.  And your brain…

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Thoughts and Experiences of a Recovering Attorney

Metro Atlanta
Middle School
Social Studies

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