TFA Refugee Writes "Corrective"

TFA Refugee Writes "Corrective"

Maureen Miller has published part of a novel about a young teacher, titled "Suffer the Children," and it's being serialized this week at a site called Five Chapters: Monday: Part OneTuesday: Part TwoWednesday: Part Three.

According to the written intro, this is  "the opening section of an unfinished metafictional novel meant to be a corrective to inner city teacher-hero narratives."  

Specifically, it's about a first-year teacher "who finally wins the respect of her students when she becomes Internet-famous for lashing out toward them and herself in her songs for her indie rock side project."

Interesting, right?  The piece was apparently inspired by an MTV news article on Vampire Weekend frontman and former teacher.  [Not to be confused with the TFA alum in Sleigh Bells who appeared on SNL.] Miller also writes that "It's partly based on meeting Andy rotherham in a Charlottesville chipotle after he saw my TFA shirt."

I can't vouch for it, not having read it yet, but I like the idea, and so am inclined at least to be curious.  I met Miller a few years ago via email through Robert Pondiscio, when I was looking for America's Next Great Edu-Blogger.   A couple of years later, I emailed her about a 2007 blog post she'd written at Blog and Deliver about how Stephen Colbert would have made a great TFAer.

Anyway, you can see some of her other writing here. She's got a very impressive bio here. She's also written a couple of articles for The @myopinion is her Twitter handle.  According to the bio, Miller is currently completing a memoir of her year with TFA, titled THE BIG MO. An annotated version is also up on Rap Genius, where Miller goes by the name MoMilli (Suffer the Children).


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  • That was a meta-struggle to read.

  • First-year teacher or one-year teacher?

    Trustfunds enable dabbling.

  • The obscure ramblings of an unrelatable weirdo.

    I challenge Russo blog devotees to make it through this entire video. I say you can't do it:

    There is no way this lady's comedy ever elicted one, single laugh.

    Maybe she'll find the cure for cancer one day, but it is more likely Ms. Miller will waste tax dollars researching something dull and dry. Why am I thinking psoriasis?

  • I got through it all and think perhaps you missed the point.
    That my friend is how the other half lives.The TJ Jefferson she talks about is a selective enrollment school in Alexandria VA. dedicated
    to math and science.That lady I would characterize as abstract in the
    extreme.Just because we are teaching in schools that do not have an organic chemistry track should we make fun of brilliant people who did?..No there is a message in that video which is a reminder of how far CPS has slipped from the normal.I think the joke may be on us.

  • In reply to rbusch:

    Disagree. That young woman is autistic, and although high functioning, is clearing surfing from degree program to degree program because she is obsessive on detail at the savant level and can't find a coherent way to communicate information. If you made a mind map of this 'talk' it would look like John Nash's conspiracy string wall in ' A Beautiful Mind'. Sadly, she is the logic of TFA theory taken to its asinine conclusion - that Ivy League grads from privileged backgrounds that can't perform in their area of expertise should be put in poor schools on the taxpayer's dime, get a teacher's salary AND their student loans forgiven. Why, why would you inflict this on the most vulnerable students in the population? Why , because they are figuring it won't make any difference and our kids don't deserve any better. Trust me, rbusch, this is 40 years of special ed speaking - this is not normal.

  • Well I people did not get " Naked Lunch" when it was
    first published .That med school student was making a career video
    for her old high school.She must be considered a success or no one
    would have asked her.
    From her lips she describes a selective enrollment high school in Virginia where they had a rowing team, a band ,and a Shakespeare club plenty of student activities.They also had an organic chemistry
    track.if I watched it right she wanted to be a political reporter ,but chose med school instead.I heard only one brief comment about teaching in the Bronx.
    If that woman is autistic someone did a hell of a job teaching her
    because med school slots are very hard to get and very competitive.

  • Autism does not equal mental retardation. Are you evaluating her skills or her prep school? A person who was clearly placed by following the adage of 'those who can't, teach', when actually, the more harmful fallacy is that all who know something can teach it. In this talk, there was quantity, not quality of ideas. They may be there in her head, and clearly she is strident in her insistence, for example, of the connection between rap and hip hop with everything in the universe, but she made absolutely no cogent connections or analogies, concrete or abstract. I also when to her self-vaunted blog, and it contained the same urgent energy about nothing in particular. While the majority of doctors do get away with poor bedside manner and communication skills, she would do poorly in any branch of medicine that involved treating humans and speaking to them about their treatment. I fervently hope she becomes a researcher.

  • A thin red line.

  • It figures Russo would think this inexperienced oddball would make a great edubloger. He knows that aggravating your target audience generates website hits, but there is a difference between being an aggravating stick poker and an annoying ass burger.

    Jagk Donn

    P.S.- Why are we not suspect of anyone and everyone with an extensive resume who is under, say 35? Doing a buncha stuff for a year or two isn't impressive, it just shows one is entitled.

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