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 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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Sep 22 2010

B is for Buzz

In its third year (2009-2010), Rocketship Mateo Sheedy achieved a stunning 925 (out of 1000) API score .  This ranked us #5 in the state of California for our category of elementary schools, as we far surpassed San Jose public schools and the California average.  This year, our goal is a 950, and all the…

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Sep 11 2010

B is for Back

I think it speaks to the absurdity of my new teaching life that I have not updated this (b is for) blog in the past six weeks.  I should ascribe to the same rule I use with my students’ homework (“No excuses!”), but I feel justified in my insufficient updates.  Coming off of 90 hour…

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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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Jul 24 2010

B is for Balance

After one month at Institute (training) in Los Angeles, I am learning that teaching is a careful balance- both inside and outside the classroom.  These are three of the dichotomies I juggle every day: Personal/Professional Alignment (PPA) This Teach for America acronym (one of thousands) refers to the idea that healthy, happy teachers are better…

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Jul 08 2010

B is for Brianna

Friends, I teach for BRIANNA, a 7th grade student in my math class who scored a 31% on her diagnostic assessment, a 33% on her daily assessment yesterday, and a 100% on her daily assessment today.  She wears her pink backpack in the front and raised her hand at least four times in class today.…

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Jul 04 2010

B is for Beginning

Friends, My Teach for America journey officially began when I accepted a position in the 2010 Bay Area Corps in January 2010.  The road to California has been unbelievably smooth since then.  I interviewed with and accepted a position in Rocketship Mateo Sheedy Elementary in late March as a second grade math teacher.  My new…

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About this Blog

Bailey Thomson, Bay Area Corps Member 2010

Region
Bay Area
Grade
Elementary School
Subject
Math

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