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Equity & Diversity Blog

On the Reservation

Jessica Shyu, now in her second year with Teach For America, is a special education teacher at an elementary and middle school on the Navajo Nation in New Mexico. Once a journalism student from the Washington, D.C., area, she has since traded the Beltway for the sprawling mesas of the Southwest. In this opinion blog, Jessica will chronicle the good, the bad, and the occasionally amusing of being a young teacher at an underresourced school in a rural community. (On the Reservation ceased publishing in June 2007.)

Education Opinion New Adventures

DEAR READERS: PLEASE CONTINUE READING MY BLOG POSTS AT NEW TERRAIN.
Jessica Shyu, June 18, 2007
1 min read
Education Opinion Lessons on parenting
DEAR READERS: THERE ARE MORE POSTS TO COME HERE. BUT I WILL CONTINUE WRITING FOR "TEACHER MAGAZINE" UNDER A NEW BLOG STARTING IN MID-JUNE. CHECK BACK FOR THE NEW LINK!
Jessica Shyu, June 5, 2007
6 min read
Education Opinion Cry, cry, cry and cry
I thought by now I was tougher, cooler, or, at least more mentally prepared. But I wasn’t. And so I cried. And cried. And cried. I suppose it is only fitting that my time on the Navajo Nation ended much like the way it began.
Jessica Shyu, May 30, 2007
2 min read
Education Opinion NEW BLOG STARTS IN JUNE
Dear Readers,
As the school year winds down, so will "On the Reservation." (Although there are several more entries to come!) But I will be starting another blog for "Teacher Magazine" beginning in June. Please stay tuned and check back often for the new link.
Jessica Shyu, May 24, 2007
1 min read
Education Opinion Bribe me
Functional Behavior Assessment: Refuses to write progress reports. Finds other ways to procrastinate. Gets irritable, talks back, abandons work when presented with assignment.
Jessica Shyu, May 23, 2007
1 min read
Education Opinion 'Tis the season...
... to be frantically grading, going on last-minute field trips, cleaning up, throwing together paperwork, tearing the posters off the walls, and checking out. It's the last week of school. I'm also in the middle of packing for my move. With all of these end-of-year events, I have tons of memories, insights and nostalgic bits and pieces swirling around in my mind. But right now, at 5:33 p.m., Tuesday, I am busy packing. In 22 hours and 34 minutes from now, the movers will be here to haul most of my belongings to McAllen, Texas. As soon as the movers leave, I'll be posting another entry.
Jessica Shyu, May 22, 2007
1 min read
Education Opinion Make math make "cents"
Dear U.S. Department of the Treasury,
Everyday around the world, people go hungry. Wars are fought. Lives are lost for seemingly pointless reasons.
Jessica Shyu, May 15, 2007
2 min read
Education Opinion Rural China Education Foundation
Out here, the sky is wide, the land is big and the interstate seems to stretch on forever. It’s easy to feel alone in the fight to close the achievement gap. In fact, around my third month of teaching last year, I was feeling sort of alone in general. I had fallen into an unofficial depression over teaching as characterized by my continuous crying, loss of appetite, and growing pile of un-graded papers.
Jessica Shyu, May 8, 2007
2 min read
Education Opinion 17 days left
For the past week, I had been mentally preparing a lengthy entry on international education reform. But as I finally sit down to write tonight, I can only think about how it's May.
Jessica Shyu, May 1, 2007
1 min read
Education Opinion Be nice
After the Virginia Tech shootings, the whole world mourned, including our world on the Navajo Nation. But when you’re perched on top of a mesa in the middle of a desert, hours from high-rises more than 3- or 4-stories high, it’s easy to feel very far away, no matter how tragic the event.
Jessica Shyu, April 24, 2007
1 min read
Education Opinion Next calling
Fifty-percent of new teachers leave the classroom after just five years. Sometimes it’s burn-out. Sometimes it’s realizing you don’t really like teaching. Sometimes it’s moving on to your next calling.
Jessica Shyu, April 17, 2007
3 min read
Education Opinion The teaching of writing
Monday afternoon. Sitting in graduate school class. Reading Chapter 8 of Vicki Spandel's "Creating Writers Through 6-Trait Writing Assessment and Instruction." Feeling slightly queasy from the assignment.
Jessica Shyu, April 10, 2007
3 min read
Education Opinion SPRING BREAK!!!
Dear Readers,
I am a slacker. I haven't been teaching. I haven't been lesson planning. I haven't even been in New Mexico. And as evidenced by the date of this entry, I haven't been blogging. It's spring break and I'm back East visiting family. I will update the blog this weekend.
Jessica Shyu, April 6, 2007
1 min read
Education Opinion What we learned by NOT being at school...
During our field trip to Family Dollar and Denny's today, this is what my resource math class learned by not being in the classroom:
Jessica Shyu, March 30, 2007
1 min read