B is for Blast Off

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

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Jul 26 2012

B is for Belief

Today marks one month since I left the Bay Area.  In 11 days, I will move to Johannesburg, South Africa to begin my next adventure in education.  I will serve as the Director of Development and Leadership for EAdvance, a uniquely South African education company that provides affordable private education to low income communities.  Similar…

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Jun 03 2011

B is for “Beat the Test”

It has been two months since my last post, and my mood has improved considerably.  I went on a cute mini-vacation with my roommate to Mendocino, California (a tiny bed-and-breakfast town on the Pacific coast), visited a childhood friend in Seattle who lives on her sailboat, and road-tripped to Los Angeles last weekend.  I am…

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Apr 10 2011

B is for Breakdown

Generally speaking, I try to keep this blog very positive.  There is absolutely no denying that the first year teaching experience is hard.  I can only speak for myself, but I know that my corps friends and I share an understanding that most days we are only surviving.  Successes are intermittent, and when they are…

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Feb 03 2011

B is for Benchmark (II)

It’s that time of year again: my classes completed benchmark testing two weeks ago, and parent-teacher conferences are this week.  Fortunately, I was able to schedule all my conferences Monday through Thursday, leaving Friday for an excursion into San Francisco with a friend from William and Mary.  While the great blizzard of 2011 hits the…

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Dec 27 2010

B is for Before You Apply

These TFA blogs demonstrate an important aspect of the organization that is rarely publicized, but very important.  Every corps member has a completely different experience than the others.  Even corps members who live together, teach in the same schools, and share students encounter totally different challenges and enjoy totally different successes.  For that matter, every…

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Dec 15 2010

B is for Become Penguin

“Once you’ve reached the point of no return, one penguin more or one penguin less each day doesn’t make much difference anymore.  You live penguin.  You think penguin.  You dream penguin.  You become penguin.” – 365 Penguins by Jean-Luc Fromental and Joelle Jolivet I am quickly becoming obsessed with 365 Penguins, a beautiful and hilarious…

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Dec 15 2010

B is for Behavior

I spent last Tuesday through Friday at a training for Project GLAD, the Guided Language Acquisition Design program that provides strategies for instruction of English Language Learners (ELL).   Since 75% of Rocketship students are ELL, I appreciated the opportunity to learn how best to serve them.  The strategies are certainly geared more toward literacy instruction,…

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Dec 07 2010

B is for Benchmark

Rocketship students take a math benchmark test five times a year to provide aligned data on their progress toward proficient and advanced status on the California Standards Test.  This data is a point of departure for my unit and lesson plans, and it keeps students accountable for their progress. …if only there were a blogging…

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Jul 24 2010

B is for Boost

Without fail, these videos boost me when I desperately need inspiration. Taylor Mali, “What Teachers Make“- Teacher and spoken word poet Taylor Mali makes a difference. Taylor Mali, “Speak with Conviction“- Teacher and spoken word poet Taylor Mali encourages us to confidently say what we believe. “Waiting for Superman” Trailer- Previews the Fall 2010 movie…

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About this Blog

Bailey Thomson, Bay Area Corps Member 2010

Bay Area
Elementary School

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