Shy Town

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jul 07 2014

Educational System(ic) inequity

Over the weekend we attended a lecture about the Israeli education system. The speaker was Daphna Liel,  the education reporter for channel 2 news, the most watched news channel in Israel. Just to be clear, when I say “Israeli education system” this does not include anything that happens across the green line, in Palestinian territories, Druze, or Bedouin villages. They have their own school systems and are not under the control of the Israeli government or education ministry.
She began by explaining to us the landscape of elementary schools in Israel. Students must attend school by the time they turn 5, but optional, free education is available to students starting at the age of 3. This was the first thing that struck me. They can offer free education to the early childhood education sector. This isn’t some Head Start crap, where it’s free with fine print (your child can only attend…

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My second day was a complete turnaround from my first day. But it didn’t start that way. I woke up at 5:00 am (breakfast is at 5:30) and said to myself “This is not ok.” It got worse when I got to breakfast and found out my American co-teacher had thrown up that morning and…

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Jul 02 2014

3rd 1st

(Note: Sorry, thought I hit publish on this last night. Turns out I hit “Save as Draft”)   Today was the third “first day” of school I’ve had in the last year. I look at this as a sign of being super fortunate, since one of those first days was for a job I absolutely…

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Jun 30 2014

I’m in Israel/About the Boys

Everyone keeps saying “This is history. Israel had existed for 66 years and every time something new happens, it is history.” I suppose they’re right. But coming from a slightly older country (roughly 238 years) nothing I do is considered “innovative”, “new”, or “historical”, so it’s hard for me to hop on board with this idea…

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May 18 2014


I was reading all these quotes by Haruki Murakami. Don’t ask me why. I was looking for something encouraging to say to a friend who was having a bad day. Haruki Murakami isn’t really the person you quote when you’re trying to make someone feel better. I was sitting on the floor of my classroom next…

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Jan 30 2014

Linked up

Read me. Eat me. Swallow me. Digest me.    I don’t completely agree with the rationalizations for all of these, but I won’t say I haven’t rolled my eyes at every single one of these statements when they’ve come up in my classroom.

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Jan 26 2014

Dear you

Note: I wrote all of this while spending Thanksgiving with my family and saved it as a draft, to finish at a later date. Clearly I forgot about it, till now. At the time I found my student’s concern endearing and adorable. Of course I was coming back to them. On December 23rd I lost…

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Nov 08 2013


A child threw a block at my head and then kissed me on the mouth. I’m pretty sure this is how abusive relationships (and the flu) start. So I’ve started an abusive relationship with a 4 year old.   My social life is clearly not improving.

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Oct 09 2013


Click this link Click play “…so tell me place doesn’t matter, that the neighborhoods that are predominantly healthy aren’t the same ones that are predominantly wealthy. Because when you’re not choosing between buying your medicine and your groceries, health doesn’t have to be a luxury, doesn’t have to be an abstract concept presented in academic…

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Sep 11 2013


Last year my school lost their funding from CPS, which means we’re scrambling to operate with about $145K less in our budgets this year than last year. It means, if it wasn’t for TFA, I wouldn’t be getting paid till the end of October. So I called my MTLD and my placement director and it…

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Little kids, big city, one me.

Early Childhood

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