“just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. where there is love and inspiration, i don’t think you can go wrong.” [ella fitzgerald]
disclaimer: this blog will not feature correct capitalization. most of the time, anyway. ee cummings would approve and therefore so should you (:
[another disclaimer: the contents of this page were written shortly after i accepted my offer to join teach for america, in november 2009. in april 2011, after having completed most of my first year of teaching second-grade literacy at a high-performing charter school in san jose, i officially accepted a graduate merit fellowship to pursue a master of public service and administration degree on the public policy analysis track at the bush school of government and public service. i left the corps -- after finishing year 1 in its entirety -- on good terms with my program director and many others on the teach for america-bay area team. i decided to keep this "about" page intact, because it really does show how passionate i was about the chance to join the TFA movement. though i am no longer participating in that movement as a corps member, nor will i ever be able to consider myself an official alumna, i am still as passionate, as part of it, as ever.]
i am a graduate of texas a&m university (whoop!), originally from dallas, and i was nothing short of thrilled to accept my offer to join teach for america in the beautiful bay area. i love fried chicken, indie music, and edifying conversation. i also love cardigans, so i’m pretty stoked that i’ll get to wear them all the time over the next two years.
WHY I TEACH FOR AMERICA (cardigan love aside):
in the brown v. board of education decision, chief justice warren declared education to be “the very foundation of good citizenship” and went on to say that “it is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunity of an education.” he dealt a forceful blow to segregated schooling (and to plessy v. ferguson itself) by stating that “such an opportunity, where the state has undertaken to provide it, is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms.” that was 1954. this is 2010. education is NOT being made available to all on equal, or even vaguely comparable, terms. even more troubling, our public schools are more segregated than ever, both by race and by social class. so here’s the thing. i do not possess the power of the united states supreme court. i can, however, do everything in MY power to MAKE AVAILABLE to my students the kind of education that brown vs. board promised them, the kind that EVERY CHILD deserves. this is, to me, the very heart of teach for america, and the very reason i am now proud to stand among the ranks of its corps.
EXPLANATION OF THE TITLE:
an incredible young woman once told me to “continue setting the world on fire!” (ask me more about her — i would love to share her story.) her challenge has become one of the guiding tenets of my life, which is especially significant because she lost her own life a week before her twenty-first birthday. i like to think that wherever service is, there she is, too.
as i serve my future students in san jose for the next two years of my life, i am humbled to know that, along with my fellow corps members, i will have the chance to set the world on fire each and every day. simply put, i can’t wait.