January 19th, 2010

The Real World of Teach for America
Zitsi Mirakhur - "The Pragmatist"

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Meet Zitsi Mirakhur from the University of Chicago. Her Teach for America assignment started out rough–the students in her math and biology classes were hard to discipline.  But then she learned a few tricks of the trade.  By the end of her first year, teaching had taught her a lot about herself.  How did she turn it all around?

This video is part of our series following the day in the life of a Teach for America recruit. Watch the entire series here and weigh in with your comments.

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Goes to show - Perseverance & dedication pays!

A very positive Zitsi.

This was such a revelation. When you have known someone so young, and you see them blossom into someone so…I can’t find the right word, but so COMPLETE a person, it becomes a matter of pride somehow. I am proud of Zitsi, I am proud of her accomplishment and I am proud to be friends with two people that have raised this wonderful person.

Knowing that a number of University of Chicago graduates go into I-banking and investment banking opportunities, this is such a refreshing reminder of how one does the great work of giving back to the society through the means of education and reflection. Go Zitsi!

I found Zitsi Mirakhur’s first half of her first year starting off with all of the negative qualities of the unsuccessful CM’s. But she quicky rebound by the second half. What was impressive was her realization of being more relaxed while focusing on the positive. Zitsi found an excessive amount of waste in classroom time and energy focusing on “controlling” her students. Breaking into groups, having her students work more independently, and having student feedback integrated into lessons meant less time in front of the class barking about behavioral issues. I was in awe of her quick adaptablity. By the end of her video Zitsi looked like she was a mature experienced teacher, not a 21yo straight out of college. It was amazing to see this transformation in just the short 5 minute clip.

we are all proud of you

Your life as a teacher reminded us of the 1967 film “To sir , with love” Sidney Poitier; keep it up, you are bringing a major change in the lives of the young generation of troubled American youth. Best of luck. Keep up the great service, the noblest of all professions.

Education Equity and the Trouble with Pragmatic Decision Making by Paul Gorski


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