bilingual, bicultural, and back home

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Oct 04 2012

For Clarissa.

I had just left my school and climbed into my car when tonight’s presidential debate started.
Minutes into the debate, I heard President Obama tell the American people that we need to invest in education. Immediately, I started crying. I still am. I go to school every day to thirty-eight students who eagerly jump out of their seats to tell me what’s going on in their lives. Thirty-eight bright and warm faces who all exclaim, at every chance they get, how much they love math and their math teacher. Thirty-eight voices who all PLEAD to stay after school with me in math club when I only have forty-five minutes one day a week to spend with 6-10 (but I’ve already snuck in 13.). Thirty-eight children who INSIST and PLEAD for MORE homework in a district that refuses to count it because hey, they won’t do it anyway. Thirty-eight students whose love for our classroom…

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Sep 22 2012

First-year mistakes.

I walk out of my school everyday with even more on my plate than the day before. More deadlines, more assignments, more things-to-do that must appease my school, district, alternative certification program, and Teach For America. The more I get, the more I am frustrated. As much as everyone detest teachers giving out busy work, I…

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Sep 07 2012

In our first ten minutes together

I was told to check off when I wanted to tutor and enrich my students. Once a week for each group. I could either do forty-five minutes in the morning or thirty minutes if in the afternoon. (Really? … Really? And what about the students at grade level?) Cory* forgot his homework. Ben*, who has…

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Every day I walk into my classroom, I am deathly terrified and immensely hopeful. I am terrified of not succeeding. Terrified of not teaching my kids the right stuff. Terrified of not being planned enough. Terrified, ultimately, of how they could turn out if they don’t master the material. As this fear consumes me, it is this…

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Sep 01 2012

This is an issue of literacy.

On Monday, August 27th, I walked into a classroom of nineteen students. They were all Hispanic. And their English proficiency? All over the place. No one could write their numbers and I mean no one. None of my students could write the number three, for example. All I kept getting were “trees.” Five was “fife,” “eight…

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Jun 25 2012

A region to consider: DFW.

Let me count the ways. 1. By the third day of induction, 100% of DFW corps members were placed. No other TFA region could boast such a record so early. And while I may be mistaken, I don’t think our fellow regions at institute have met that goal to this day (Houston, San Antonio, Rio Grande Valley,…

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Jun 19 2012

“I don’t know.”

Alex’s* favorite phrase is, “I don’t know.” This three letter phrase is his response to everything I ask him to do in class. I have thought about banning the phrase in our classroom but as compelled as I am to implement the ban, the honest truth is that he doesn’t know. He means it when those…

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May 30 2012

I have gone away to come back.

One day I will pack my bags of books and paper. One day I will say goodbye to Mango. I am too strong for her to keep me here forever. One day I will go away. Friends and neighbors will say, What happened to Esperanza? Where did she go with all those books and paper?…

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May 23 2012

“Wow. Good luck with that.”

When I told a stranger where I would possibly be teaching today, he made a face of disgust and said, “Wow. Good luck with that.” He followed his unsolicited comment with a remark about how he hopes I don’t go out walking around there and maybe, he said, I’ll come out alive. To say I…

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May 19 2012

Mil Gracias!

Four years ago, my parents and I visited my school on our way back from Chicago. While I had been anxious to show them the school since I had been accepted back in January, they had not been looking forward to the visit. I’d like to think that it’s because my parents did not want…

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About this Blog

I'm the first in my family to attend college. So what did I do when I graduated? Went back home to teach. This blog captures that story.

Dallas-Fort Worth
Elementary School

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