He, who opens a school door…

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Dec 30 2013

“Is Mr. Heisinger’s class hard?”

It’s winter break, and I’m sitting at my old home in the northern suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, reflecting on my first 4 months of teaching.
Recently, my homework completion rate—which miraculously rose to 80-90% at the beginning of October—has gone back down to about 25-30%, and I’ve found myself making excuses for why I can’t work harder to fix that or other issues in my classroom, most of which come back to me being absolutely exhausted and overwhelmed.
However, despite many setbacks, things are still going relatively well.  I have behavior almost entirely under control, my kids are generally invested in me and my class, and I can honestly say that there’s learning taking place in my classroom.
Anyway, after four months of observing things in my school and across Newark, I think it’s appropriate for me to start commenting on some of the issues I’m seeing.  I fully realize that I am…

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Oct 04 2013

“Nah Mister. I don’t do homework.”

In my first month on the job, I’ve already heard all kinds of stories about the disaster zone that was Barringer High School in years prior.  With horror stories from students pulling fire alarms multiple times each week to riots in the parking lot to students organizing fistfights against staff members, the Barringer of yesteryear––to say…

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"I must admit that I personally measure success in terms of the contributions an individual makes to his or her fellow human beings." – Margaret Mead

Greater Newark
High School

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