Recalculating

My car’s out of commission, which means I am in a different car for the time being. Basically my whole life is in my car including my GSP, Camile. I hadn’t realized how much I had become dependent on Camile as a traveling companion. I hadn’t realized how much I had become a passive participant …

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Benchmark

His second grade teacher told me his MAP scores didn’t even meet the 1st grade benchmark as he was entering my 3rd grade classroom. She told me that he was a troublemaker. He was a referral waiting to happen. “Good luck” was her only advice. I understand benchmarks and the way that they offer a …

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Natural Smile

In my end of the year faculty review, my principal asked me how I felt my year had been. I explained the successes and frustrations of teaching a new grade level and a new subject. Then, I explained that personally I had lost a 3-year relationship, my family had lost its business and I had …

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Passion-filled Cherry Pie

It’s technically summer break. Time for relaxing by the pool, going to the beach, sleeping in…so why am I still waking up at 3:00am with lesson plan ideas and resources for units? It’s teaching isn’t something you can turn off. Teaching isn’t a job; teacher is an unshakeable identity that follows you to the grocery …

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Wait, Stop, Slow Down

I get accused of talking fast in my classes. My students often say, “Ms. Neely, stop, wait, slow down.” My response is always, “I can’t slow down. There’s too much to learn and too little time!” I’m a passionate person and I have very clear vision of what my role and purpose on this spinning …

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Value-Added Christianity

For the longest time, I thought that my passion for teaching and my faith were independent of each other. I thought that there were two different parts of my life that didn’t pertain to each other: my professional life and my personal life. I was wrong. You can’t separate out parts of yourself any more …

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Devaluing Students + Valuing Adults = No Value Added

There’s a heated debate in the world of education about value-added teacher evaluation systems. DCPS is one of the first district’s in the nation to attempt a value-added teacher evaluation system that is connected to merit based pay for teachers. Founder Jason Kamras decribes the system like this: “And through this regression formula [a statistical …

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Let the walls come down

I Corthinians 9:22: “I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some,” has long been my personal mantra. Although I do believe that it caught my attention from an outside influence, I can’t even pretend to blame the flawed theology that I personalized on anyone but myself. I …

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Einstein and the Theory of Relativity

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wteiuxyqtoM] “Whose interpretation is correct?” “Einstein tells us that they are both correct within their own frame of reference.” In arguing whatever end of the world situation I had encountered at Middle School in the car with my dad on the way home, I would almost always end up in tears and almost always end …

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