I’ve sat down probrably a dozen times since institute to blog on this site. Before joining this movement, I loved and lived social media. Life as a first year intervened, and I couldn’t quite put into words what this experience has meant to me. I’ve learned so much. I’ve had a ton of lows, and a ton of highs. Somedays, I feel like I’m on a roller coaster. I’ve changed emotionally, physically (you should see all this gray) and spiritually. My views on education, immigration, and poverty keep getting refined and molded on a daily basis.
This brings me to a list of what I’ve learned and what I believe to be true in this moment:
1) I really love my students. Sometimes I yell at them. Sometimes, I even scream. Sometimes, I judge them. I really love them though. I love them so much it hurts. I love them in a way that I didn’t even know was possible. The amazing thing is that they love me too. They may not always respect me, or behave, but they love me. They are quick to forgive and quick to show me grace, even when I forget that I’m supposed to be the adult in the room and royally screw up.
2) I am not a super hero. I came in thinking that I was going to the best teacher ever. I came in thinking I could seriously do this teaching thing better than anyone ever and that’s why TFA chose me. I was wrong. I fell on my butt so many times these last couple months. Hell, I fell on my butt a couple times today. But, through each lesson and each failure I can make a difference. Maybe I am a super hero if super heros can have a million sidekicks. Educating children takes so many people, not just one person. I wish I realized that when I started.
3) Being Self Aware
sucks is the best thing ever. Teach for America is all about the self awareness. I thought I was a self aware person. I am not. I actually had no idea how my actions affect others and how I can come across. I normaly have great intentions but can come across as a total bitch. Learning to be self aware has changed not only how teach, but how I have personal relationships. Teach for America taught me that and my kids push it to the limits daily.
4) The Acheivment Gap has too many Layers. I sometimes call my MTLD or friends crying after something I perceive bad happens at school or in my classroom. Several times the conversation has ended with my making the conclusion that it’s the acheivment gap. Poverty, poor behavior, illiteracy, lack of accountability, hunger, broken school systems are all layers in the achievement gap. Just when I think that I have discovered/ experienced all the layers one comes out and bites me in the ass. So many layers. But as my dad says, its about shoveling one scoop of shit at a time till all the shit is gone. I love my dad. My shovel right now is educating my babies while loving their families and community. I’ll let other people dig in other piles till this acheivment gap shit is finaly closed. I can’t fix this whole problem in a day.