From the Buckeye Nation to a Bulldog State

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Oct 11 2011

The Disillusionment Phase? Check.

At the beginning of our Georgia State courses, we were given a chart detailing the varying stages of a new teacher’s first year. We began with the honeymoon phase, loving our kids, our schools, our jobs. We rapidly moved into the survival phase, which entailed many sleepless nights, anxiety about lesson planning, and essentially, surviving. Finally, with the advent of October and grade cards, we have reached the disillusionment phase.
When I say disillusionment phase, I mean to communicate a true dictionary definition. According to Merriam Webster, disillusionment is to be free from or deprived of illusion, belief, idealism, etc.; disenchant. This phase is characterized by a feeling of helplessness, a real loss of idealism, and the conviction that what you are doing is not making a profound difference. We’re there.
I experienced my first encounter with disillusionment this weekend, grading a fat stack of democracy tests. After spending…

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Oct 02 2011

Report Card

In light of the grade cards I am sending home with my students next week, I thought I would take a moment of reflection and write my own. I’ve started with the bad, and moved towards more positive (always end on a good note!) My grades are as follows: (Mom and Dad, please don’t ground…

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Jul 24 2011

Visionary or Vision-is-scary?


School starts August 8th. This is obviously rapidly approaching. I am preparing myself by reading every teacher’s guide I can get my hands on, and spending hours cutting out classroom decorations. For a more philosophical preparation, I am also cultivating a classroom “vision” complete with Big Goals that we will accomplish this year. Essentially, I…

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Jul 24 2011

What Teachers Make

\”What Teachers Make\” by Taylor Mali This has been some major inspiration for all the TFAers in Atlanta this summer. It is a must-watch, even if you are not a teacher as it will remind you of great teachers you had yourself. Be careful if you ask me what I “make”!

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Jul 24 2011

Cheaters Never Prosper


Atlanta is in the midst of a heinous cheating scandal. If you haven’t heard about this, crawl out from that rock you live under and read the 600+ page report on the extensive cheating in Atlanta Public Schools. Unfortunately, it likely stems even farther than just APS, with surrounding counties in Metro Atlanta now also…

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Jul 05 2011

The Staph Infection

Nearly two weeks ago (I know–I’m a terrible blogger in terms of staying current), we were pulled in our main meeting area for an announcement regarding a health issue at Georgia Tech. As the daughter of Karen Winters and granddaughter of Josephine Kolmacic, I am terrified of germs and feel a constant desire to sanitize,…

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Jun 21 2011

Ms. Winters’ Rap Debut

Atlanta's Next Rap Sensation

Setting: Garden Hills Elementary, an Atlanta Public School located near Buckhead. Condition? Nice, but still with a few cockroaches. Power only in some of the classrooms on Thursday, but absolutely no air conditioning due to a power outage. For teachers needing to use laptops (myself included)…sorry, out of luck. Characters: My class of 5th graders…

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Jun 14 2011

My New City


Peachtree Street, the main drag in Atlanta, has had quite a bit of TFA action so far. The area has great bars, restaurants, and other important landmarks like the Margaret Mitchell House (maybe I’ll find my Rhett Butler there!?), and has played host to a lot of corps member bonding thus far. The strip of…

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Jun 14 2011

My First Foray into the South

Hey ya’ll! Now that I am settling into to Atlanta, I thought it was time to update family and friends on my adventure into the South. So far, my main adjustment is to the heat. It is HOT. It is actually impossible to breathe without sweating in this place. For someone who is constantly cold,…

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Ms. Winters' Southern Education

Metro Atlanta
Elementary School
Elementary Education

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