Stir Up the World

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jul 31 2011

sphere of influence, man.

I love my new town.  But I’ve definitely seen a lot of things that are deeply unsettling to me.  I have to realize, though, that:

1. I have absolutely no right to judge.

2. It’s not my job to change these people.

My job is my classroom, and that’s what I can control.  I can make my classroom a safe, inclusive environment.  Through helping my kids learn how to think critically, I impact their lives, and they in turn will change society.  That’s it.  That’s my job.

My energy here is better spent planning how I will make my classroom that safe, inclusive, challenging environment, instead of judging the people who have welcomed me so warmly into their community.

But seriously, Southern hospitality is a real thing!  I think this year is going to be amazing because this community is SO supportive of me and my work.  Being here has definitely shattered all of the stereotypes I had/still have, and has reminded me that stereotypes oversimplify and dehumanize.

My roommate and I were watching What About Bob? today, and when I finally stopped laughing my head off, I had this moment where I thought “Oh my gosh I’m going to be a teacher in 2 weeks!  And what am I doing in Arkansas?!”.  Every once in awhile I realize just how surreal this all is.  Then I look around at my newly-furnished living room and ever-present pile of teaching books and I realize that everything’s going to be okay.

Dr. Marvin had it right. Baby steps.

One Response

  1. Katie

    Yay! What About Bob?! Reminds me of those wonderful trips to New Hampshire. :)

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About this Blog

rural Arkansas, eh?

Region
Mississippi Delta
Grade
Middle School
Subject
Math

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"If one desires to 'stir up the world,' it is easy to be impatient with work for the sake of work. Yet no story's end can forsake its beginning and its middle." -Joshua Wolf Shank on Abraham Lincoln