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Good for you for not giving up on the tough kids!


Congrats on the hard work paying off with tough kids. There is no better reward than seeing them turn around and realize learning is in their own best interests and that the teacher cares enough to get them there.

It is great to see you back at your blog. I kept the bloglines feed just in case you came back. I look forward to future posts.

Chris Lehmann

Wonderful story!

And welcome back!


Congrats on your success with the general kids. That's terrific. I had a class like that my first year too.

Just found your blog right after you started writing but have checked back (obviously). Glad to see you back at it.

Katey Jackson

Hey there,

I found your blog in the Best of Blogs book.

I wanted to read it beacause I am considering a career change to teaching. I'm a graphic artist and am completely burned out by working for companies that don't really make a difference in the world. I thought for a long time that my job dissatisfaction came from not working for the right companies, but I am beginning to see that I am not working in the right field.

Your blog is insightful and inspiring and I appreciate the honesty with which you write.

Thanks for spending the time to share your experiences here. Your site is helping me gain more information about a career that I have been interested in for much of my life.

Katey Jackson
Alpharetta, GA


Inspiring! Great to hear it.


Hi Hipteacher,

I stumbled upon your blog yesterday, and I haven't really stopped reading since. I am in the midst of applying to NYC Teaching Fellows (preparing for the interview as we speak) and really appreciate your honest accounts. It's nice to hear the gritty along with the inspiring.

A great deal of the Teaching Fellows information I've found online (at least the info that is not a puff piece and/or on the official website) seems pretty negative - inept school administrations, insufficient preparation, and veteran teachers' resentment toward the new teachers.

It doesn't seem that you were involved in the program, but I would appreciate any insight that you could provide. If you don't feel like posting it, you can always email me.

Thanks so much, and I am glad you're back to the blog!


Good for you! That must have felt fantastic. And word will spread, too. Word always does, about the teachers who will (and who won't!) keep kids in line. It should be a little easier next year because of that.

My first year of teaching, I had a similar circumstance. An English class with almost all boys--only two girls. One of the two girls didn't even speak English. The boys were "too cool for school", which we've all learned is a normal response when people are not very good at something and, to cover up their shame, they "hate" it, and because they proclaim they hate it, then they actually learn to hate it, and they don't invest anything in getting better at it, and they fall even further behind, leading them to hate it even more. Yeah. One of my boys, for example, read at a second grade level, even though he was in eighth grade. It was awful.

Vicki Davis

It is important to write! I was in the session last year with David Warlick and when he found out "hip teacher" was in the class, I saw the respect and awe on his face. Influence and street cred is a gift. It is a gift that you can use to change things positively. It is possible to write without betraying trust. We must be ethical and keep private things private (and I often do), but we can also talk about trends and happenings that we have observed in ours and other schools. Your viewpoint is important.

You also said something that I agree with, you said that "You didn't give up on them." I think the persistent, tenacious decision to not give up is a vital element in a good teacher. Good teachers don't take excuses. Good teachers teach and overcome the obstacles. You are a good teacher. You are a good blogger. You can do both. You are the first teacher blog on Google. That is a gift, use it wisely.

Ben McFerren

teachade for teachers

hi there,

We started a free site called teachade for teachers and I was wondering if you'd take a look to see what you think. Basically we're looking to build a community of teachers to support each other through professional development and resource exchange. We're looking for your input and suggestions on how to improve the site. Hope to see you join us and participate.





Pardon, I'm a bit late.

This all sounds very, very familiar. I think I have your class. Except I'm a first year, and I have a moron for an inclusion teacher. Incredibly unhelpful - in fact, I'd have to say that she's caused more problems, by and large.

Got any concrete advice?

3rd yr girl teacher

anybody have advice for working with a self-righteous prick for an inclusion teacher? He loves to critique my lessons and lecture me after class. Now he's doing it during class. See Supervisor or suck it up for a year?

Tom (no I'm not the myspace guy)

Found your blog on a best of list thing. Interesting read, and I know exactly what it's like to function with one-half of a working, competent brain!


I don't know if you still check this blog, but I'd love to see the academic contracts you used. As a first year teacher, I got stuck with 6 inclusion classes and half the time I feel like I'm drowning. My inclusion teacher has only worked with younger students, and she wants to treat them like children constantly. Any help you could send my way would be greatly appreciated!

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