Caroline in the Delta

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jun 15 2010



Woke up at 5am, breakfast, bag lunch, bus. 25 minutes to my school site: 5th and 6th grade Levee-Bowl Academy, which is a fake name we made for two combined counties at my school. We’re the closest school to Institute, with the farthest being just about an hour’s busride away.

Long day, minimal (VERY minimal) A/C in the middle school library we had half our sessions in. New friends. Introductions to our CMA groups and collaboratives. I can’t wait to work with my two partners in my fifth grade classroom.

Back by 5, dinner, tour. Campus-wide power outage that begins in the middle of a community panel in an auditorium. Being Teach For America, we continue in the dark. It’s deeply motivational, my favorite quotes about the Delta being “…a place that loves its religion and also loves its sin…” “the cradle of American culture” and “the most southern place on earth.” All made me smile: this is home.

Power outage keeps on, we keep touring campus. Resource room, copy center (my roots! Philly Institute ’09!), Tech Office, Communications Team– oh wait, the police finally came, at nine pm, to kick us out of these pitch black academic buildings because they are unsafe? Hm. But we didn’t get to see our mailboxes!!

Come home. Still no power. I start talking to sister Genevieve and checking email. What’s inside?

You’ve been placed in Dumas, Arkansas!

I keep telling myself I just can’t worry about anything and it will work out– and it’s working out! I’m teaching 5th & 6th grade Language Arts in a town of about 5,000. Tiny place, pretty isolated, Arkansas, upper el. Pretty much nothing that I expected but Lordy, I cannot wait. I also found out my institute placement today: fifth grade. Couldn’t be more perfect. Now I just have to keep my fingers crossed that my placement doesn’t fall through. Can’t be too excited until I sign the contract!

3 Responses

  1. Dena

    Sounds exciting! Can’t wait to hear more about it. Have fun–although it already sounds like you definitely are having fun!!! What an amazing experience.

  2. Cindy

    Only 8-10 hours from Houston, roughly, and much closer tot he best crystal mines in America . . . gonna be a great two years. Will hold off my rejoicing until you sign the contract!

  3. Southern Arkansas is where it’s at! I taught in Lake Village for two years and really you’re about to be surrounded by wonderful people. Another great thing about Dumas is it’s a community that will REALLY care for you! You’re in for a great two years- CONGRATS!!!

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