Harping On That TFA Thing! Part 2

Sometimes I have to stop and reflect on my life and how blessed I am. Today is one of those days. I was thinking about not getting into TFA again. Okay, I know I’m harping on that TFA thing again. This time it’s in a good way though.

Let me take you back to the beginning. I had a plan. I was going to get into TFA, use the $9,450 of AmeriCorps money plus the 40% tuition discount and finish my education after I finished the other AmeriCorps program that I was involved with.

The only problem is that that’s one AmeriCorps award too many. Only two AmeriCorps awards are allowed. Period. (I didn’t know that)

The plan that I had involved getting accepted into TFA. Not getting in was devastating and shot all my plans to hell! Or so I thought!

Since I didn’t get in I had no choice but to accept that. I know that everything happens for a reason. I knew that God was working it out and that I shouldn’t be worried. But I was still very worried and very anxious.

Well, as it turns out, all that worry and anxiety was for naught. It just so happens that not getting into TFA was a good thing. A very good thing! Their schedule for the summer and for the duration of the program is CRAZY!! They have a lot of responsibilities and time commitments that would have been very hard for me to fulfill.

I talked to a couple of TFA members who expressed their sentiments on just how time consuming their commitment is. This made me even more convinced that God is working on my behalf on a plan that I can’t even begin to fathom the depths of.

Though I did accept that getting in was not for me. However, the only problem was the 40% tuition reduction that I would have enjoyed by being a TFA member. Well, as it turns out, I don’t have to worry about that anymore. My school, B.N.U., has a fantastic grant writer who has managed to write a grant that not only takes care of the TFA students but all the students in the Intern program. As we speak (drum roll) I now qualify for the 40% tuition reduction rate.

Thank you Jesus and Hallelujah!

I’m telling you, God really looks out for me. I get almost all of the benefits of being in TFA without the hectic schedule. Is that perfect or what?


What Your First Grader Needs to Know by E.D. Hirsch, jr. (2 0f 8)


I am very nervous about classroom management, so I have been asking advice from a lot of the veteran teachers that I know. One teacher whom I have become close with in the last couple of months told me about a surefire way to get the children under control. It is reminiscent of a post of mine .

N-e way, because of him, I decided that the first month would be spent on reading, writing and going over the rules. I will send home the list of books that they need to read along with a library card application. I got the list from “What Your 1st Grader Needs to Know by E.D. Hirsch, jr.” This is an excellent book. In it, Hirsch outlines what is considered the fundamentals of a good education. This series goes all the way from K to 7th grade as far as I know.

This is the second in a series of 8.

Before you get started, the author gives words of wisdom on pgs. 11-12, in the section entitled How to Use This Book, the author explains that active, engaged learning is remembered better than passive learning. In other words, ask questions to the children as you’re reading the story.

On page 12, his second piece of advice is repeat, repeat, repeat. Don’t be afraid of reading something more than once. Young children like to hear good stories over and over.

Core knowledge is needed, according to the author, because:

  1. Shared background knowledge makes schooling more effective.
  2. Shared background knowledge makes schooling more fair and democratic.
  3. Defining a specific core of knowledge for each grade motivates everyone through definite, attainable standards.
  4. Shared background knowledge helps create cooperation and solidarity in school and in the nation.


The first section is LANGUAGE ARTS. From pages 14-81, there are a series of stories and nursery rhymes that children should know because according to Hirsch, a lot of references are in regard to nursery rhymes and fairy tales.

The second section is    .

The third section is       .

The fourth and final section includes      .

Do yourself and your children a favor and pick up these books!