Monday, July 30, 2012


I write this post today as a free being.  I have been caught in the haze that my former school has created and survived the culture of fear that all three of my principals have maintained.  I decided not to write of the realities of the school throughout the year but I am proud to announce that I have sent in my formal resignation letter.

Clicking the "Send" button in my email has never felt so liberating, so exhilarating, or so peaceful.  As soon as the letter was sent I felt a world of pressure and stress lift off my shoulders.

I no longer work for a school who doesn't put children first.  I no longer work for a school who simply does not support their educators.  I no longer work for a school who takes advantage of their eager, new first-year teachers.  I no longer answer to administrators who claim that "social justice is bullshit".

I am free from it all.  I am lifted with new hope and faith in my career decisions.  It was risky to leave, yes, but it was more risky to stay and lose my entire belief in the education system.  I did not want to lose the love I felt for teaching and my hope in the success of CA public school system.

I hope that my friends and colleagues who are remaining at the school find the beauty in being a teacher, continue to see the positive side of things, and most importantly - find a way to put their students first.

I will miss my students, my friends, and my dedicated colleagues - but I am proud of my decision and I hope the school finds a way to one day match their mission statement that claims to support the people and communities of underserved communities.

And to the administrator who claimed "social justice is bullshit", I have very little respect for your view on education, I do not understand your lack in dedication to children; and for the last and final time, I do not agree that "testing and data is all that matters".

The new and refreshed Ms. Tsai

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Teacher's Bliss? Spring Break - No Doubt About It

Spring Break

One dance show.  A sick Pumbaa for Hakuna Matata.  6 more online assessments.  painting day. observation.  more observation.   one new principal.  23 parent conferences.  one open house.
Just a fraction of the fire-y hoops I had to jump through in order to reach the oasis that is Spring Break.

I have spent the last 6 days hidden away from work folk and anyone shorter than 4 feet tall.  I have been lounging and passing the time by cooking, baking, reading, working out, laughing, smiling, and asking myself difficult questions like "What kind of coffee shall I order today?" or "Hm, should I wake up at 10 AM or 12 PM?".  I hope I forever remember the feeling that I am having during my first ever teacher spring break.

School resumes on April 9th.  No big breaks from here on out so it will be a hell of a push for me to carry myself through the year.  Big upcoming events:  btsa deadline, masters inquiry deadline, inquiry presentations, and THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL.

c a n t w a i t . 

Although I desperately needed a break from work, I spent some time this week at a good friend's school.  She works as an intervention teacher and it was so blissful to see what a "normal" school does and how "normal" kinders work.  I have really forgotten what that's like and it was like breathing clean air for the first time in a long time to see students that are curious about learning.

It served as hope and inspiration for me and the future of public school education.  Thanks, friend!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Love is...

...eating breakfast with my students at 7 AM in the auditorium.

The school year is moving along rather quickly and things are going well with my students.  They are growing as individuals and scholars and tackling the (insane) demands of the administration and school.  Students love being with their peers, but the testing craze still creates a fog of anxiety and stress for my kids.  I can only hope with my heart that they will not be turned off by school, that they won't grow to see that school = tests, and that they will learn to be an advocate for themselves and their education.

Valentines Day is coming up and I can't wait for my kids to tell me what love is to them.  I'll post their responses <3

...having a dance party to hakuna matata after benchmark was over.