Danya in Dallas

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

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Apr 10 2013

Teach For America: Pluses and Deltas

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged on here. It’s been a busy, crazy year, but I’ve finally managed to pull something coherent. In the past couple of months, I’ve had quite a lot of experiences that have shaped my opinions on not only my experience as a corps member, but on Teach For America…

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As some of you might know, I’ve been without a car for a while now, and last week I started taking public transportation to work. Having lived in Chicago for four years,completely acclimated to public transportation there, I was very excited to try out this city’s DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) system, and so far…

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Sep 27 2012

1 Month

As of today, I’ve been teaching at Blanton for one month. One month? That’s it? It feels like I’ve been there for several. It feels like each week feels like a month. In this past month, I have: Gotten to know the names of the majority of my 60+ students. A few names still trip…

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Aug 29 2012

First Day of School Reflections

The night before the first day of the school year reminded me of the night before my first soccer game when I was in 2nd grade. I was really excited and got no sleep, and planned a lot. I drove to school exhausted, but meeting my kids gave me the energy I needed to make…

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Aug 26 2012

Thanksgiving Break in August

I will post a “Night Before First Day of School” post later tonight, God willing, but right now as I am freaking out and preparing to be ready to teach tomorrow, I wanted to take some time to list ten things I am thankful for: 1. Making it out of the accident with minimal injuries,…

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Aug 19 2012

August is the cruelest month (hopefully).

I apologize for not updating in quite a while. My computer broke in the middle of our first few days of training in Dallas, and it’s taken forever to get it fixed. My parents mailed me an old netbook of mine, which I am now using as the other one gets fixed. I was counting…

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Jul 31 2012

You Can Take A Girl out of the Scav Hunt…

but you can’t take the Scav Hunt out of the girl. One of the things that I realized at Institute is that I really have to start liking living in Dallas in order for me to be able to invest 100% in my students and my role here. It’s been a rough adjustment, but last…

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Jul 30 2012

Oh hey there.

Hello everyone. Sorry for the very long lapse in blogging. I got swamped in things to do with the end of Institute, the move to Dallas, my visit to Chicago, and the beginning of “First Eight Weeks” training that I haven’t gotten around to publishing an update. I had a very long post backed up…

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Jul 08 2012

Days 23-28: One Week Left

I am so sorry to not have updated in such a long time, once again. Teaching has been going super well. According to my supervisors, I’ve completely turned my classroom around in the past week since I sat down and came up with ways to improve what was going on. I still have to work…

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Jul 02 2012

Institute, Days 19-22: Theory and Practice

Again, I find very little time to blog as the focus becomes on turning my classroom around, but I feel like I should get some sort of update together. Since it’s been so long, this post won’t have an organizing theme, just different little snippets, probably in no particular order. Internal and external reasons: Today…

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Jun 29 2012

Institute, Day 18: But I’m a Cheerleader!

I keep not having time to write a lengthy post, or really email anyone back. If it’s not one thing it’s another. I’ve finished my second week of teaching at Dowling Middle School. I think over the weekend I am going to be thinking long and hard about how to turn my classroom around, because…

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Jun 28 2012

Institute, Day 17: Back to Business

So today I taught three classes – mine, and those of other corps members who went to visit KIPP today. It went better than I thought it would be, and now all of that is over and I am back to just teaching my kids, except for tomorrow where¬† I will have to visit another…

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I’m holding myself to sleep at 1AM tonight because I’m teaching two extra classes in addition to my own tomorrow, but I just wanted to give a brief update. This morning was almost just as bad as yesterday even though I didn’t have any students and it had to do with other things, but I…

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Jun 25 2012

Institute, Day 15: Real Talk

Even when you feel like you’ve survived your “worst day of Institute,” another “worst day of Institute” might pop up when you least expect it. One might not be quantifiably worse than the other, but instead it is “worst” in different ways. Today was discouraging in its own way and I feel like my foundations…

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Jun 24 2012

Institute, Days 11-14: The Catcher in the Rye

I’m up late tonight because I slept all day today, but my thoughts have my head spinning, and it’s not just the summer flu I’ve managed to pick up. I’ve been teaching – yes, teaching – for a week now. Over the past week, I think my biggest accomplishment is getting through to some of…

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Jun 20 2012

Institute, Day 9-10: Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Yesterday was rough! I woke up in a horrible, horrible mood, and so did most of the people at Institute. This is the part of Institute that I had always been told about but never believed would happen to me or those around me. I’m used to surviving stereotypical predictions like “where fun comes to…

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Jun 18 2012

Institute, Day 8: First Things First

Today was my first day of teaching! I finally got to meet my students, and taught them about expository essays (both sequential and compare and contrast). I used fresh oranges as a prop to get my students to start thinking about sequential writing (explain how to eat an orange!), but it ended up backfiring on…

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Jun 18 2012

Institute, Days 6-7: Calm Before the Storm

So I don’t have much time to post, but that is because tomorrow is the BIG DAY! My first day actually teaching kids. I am super excited to meet them. This weekend I ended up rushing to Kroger in the few hours before Shabbat, and bought enough things for a nice little dinner by myself,…

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Jun 15 2012

Institute, Days 4-5: Discipline and Punish (?)

On Wednesday night, I went to sleep at 1:15AM! This is quite an accomplishment, and I could feel the difference between 5 hours of sleep and 3 hours of sleep as soon as I got some coffee in me. I walked into Dowling Middle School in an energetic, awake mood at 7:30AM. I was even…

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Jun 14 2012

Institute, Day 3: The Science of Sleep

As expected, Institute is taking its toll on even my famously poor sleep habits. I’ve been going to bed at 3AM most nights or, 2AM when I am lucky and organized. When you wake up at 6AM every morning, that’s not a lot of sleep hours, and it really makes the rest of the day…

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Jun 13 2012

Institute, Day 2: Drill, Baby, Drill!

We had a fire drill today! Or maybe a summer school student pulled the alarm. Not sure. Here is a picture of Dowling that I took while we were outside: ^ Dowling Middle School in Houston’s Sunnyside Neigborhood ^Me looking reeeeally goofy in Houston’s Sunnyside neighborhood. My hair is a mess in this humidity! I’ll…

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Jun 12 2012

Institute, Day 1: You’re in the Army Now

I am writing this on the bus to my first day at Dowling Middle School in Houston, where I will be working for the next 5 weeks in Institute. Houston is beautiful. So green, so big, so diverse! The Rice campus is very nice, and I was assigned a roomy single. Our morning routine is…

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Jun 08 2012

Induction Recap

So I have completed most of induction, and I am all packed up and ready to fly home to Hyde Park for a few days to graduate!* Induction basically consisted of getting to know our fellow corps members, past corps members, and TFA staff, participating in guided reflection on the coming 2 years, getting paperwork…

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May 18 2012

Hello everyone!

I am starting a blog on Teach For Us in order to share my stories and progress as a bilingual elementary school teacher in Dallas. I am really excited for this opportunity, and have already been preparing through the various assignments we’ve been given before our official induction, which begins on June 5. Before then,…

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