world on fire

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jul 09 2010

’cause you know we’ll make it through, we’ll make it through

i staggered upstairs at the end of the day — note: yes, teaching in heels is a pretty bad idea — and walked towards my classroom feeling kind of…down. yesterday’s lesson seemed to go SO WELL, and today’s was…eh. (good thing all 3 rocketship principals observed today)

anyway, something almost supernatural happened to me the moment i entered the classroom. i looked around the room at all the empty desks, and in an instant i could see all of my students in my mind, as if they were actually there in front of me. i saw their lives for a moment, and their futures if they [most of them] don’t get the drastic intervention they desperately need to catch up, let alone excel. the only way to describe how i felt in that moment is to say that i was overwhelmed by love. i think in some ways i care about these children so deeply BECAUSE i only have 4 weeks with them — in tfa speak, time is short and the need is great. they need dramatic increases in their literacy skills, of course, but more than that they need affirmation. they need belief. they need the utmost consideration.

they need a teacher who will not only look them in the eye and tell them they can do amazing things, but who will also take their hand and lead them there. i’m exhausted and even fragile in so many ways after just 2 weeks of institute, but i’m also consumed with hope. i CAN teach these children. they CAN master this material, even those who are really far behind. slowly but surely i’m figuring out how to reach them better, and as long as i improve every single day, i really do believe that i’ll leave a lasting mark both on their educations and on their lives.

in other news, my collab is awesome. i have a particular shoutout for my co-teacher nicole, who is straight-up hilarious, brilliant, and strong. we’ve talked about how we have no idea what institute would be like if we couldn’t work with people like each other. that’s kind of the overall theme of this experience…it knocks you down over and over again but also sends you lifelines when you least expect them.

speaking of lifelines, i HAVE to sleep. it’s 9:20 on a friday night, isn’t every 22-year-old about to go to bed?

have a great weekend, everyone! (and by “everyone,” of course, i mean bailey’s mom, who is probably one of the only people who actually reads this)

6 Responses

  1. Audrey

    Loved every word–then I read, ” … Bailey’s mom, who is probably one of the only people who actually reads this.” Not true, but very funny. You made my day (and probably made the day for twenty-some beautiful kids who already love you but may never have the courage to say so).

    Bailey’s Mom

  2. Betsy

    I always read them too :) love you!

  3. Robin Johnston

    more of read than you know, dear. :>) so proud of you.

  4. Robin Johnston

    more of US, that is.

  5. Will Garnett

    How did I not even know about this blog until now? Proud as can be. Stay strong wonderful sister of mine, you’re already doing some amazing things! Love you!

  6. Mom

    Great post, daughter!! I’m finally catching up!! Love you and MISS you!!!!

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one person can make a difference and every person should try [[JFK]]

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