Caroline in the Delta

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Aug 22 2010

Me, I’m growin’ like a tree…

Let me tell you, being an adult is difficult. There are so many wonderful things in my life right now. I keep telling people how absolutely positive I am that I belong here. My gut every day reminds me that no matter how emotionally obliterated I am, my position in life, in the world, in the universe, is exact. Maybe it’s God whispering that to me, putting one foot in front of the other– whatever or whoever it is, I am thankful.

Every day I want to be positive and optimistic. I am running four days a week, I am staying after school, I am being social as often as possible, I am building relationships. Being just out of college, being 700 miles away from Michigan, being a still new motherless daughter, being in a new job that I want so badly to succeed in, my emotions are so strained. My footing is uneven every day. Running has brought me the most daily stability so far, it’s the time when I finally let go. When I stop thinking and just do.

Things are falling into place, slowly but calmly. My first day in the classroom was a comfort. The second I saw my first student at my door all my anxiety melted away, and teacher mode took over. I have five classes of about 25 students. There are miracles every day. I am shocked at the way I feel while teaching, and knocking on wood every 15 minutes, scared to talk about it, scared I’ll jinx it. I know the whole year won’t be easy, but thank God right now it is. We spent the first two days learning procedures, timing ourselves lining up, passing up papers. We talked about people we admire and why.

This week is more investment and procedures, and starting to introduce content. We’ll do our diagnostic on Tuesday to see where, exactly, my students stand in regards to writing and how far we need to go this year.

I’m having a hard time coming to terms with my past and my present. It’s easy to get taken over by feelings of deep loss, to get paralyzed with missing people and things. I know there is a time and a place for grief, but I have a hard time managing those times with times of productivity and zeal. With momentum and progress. I don’t want to walk away from anything, but I know I can’t hold onto smoke or sand. The focus has to be on what is now, what is here, what is tangible and in front of me.

So here I am, two days done, my first full week standing before me. Okay, sixth graders. Okay, room 78. Let’s go.

3 Responses

  1. Shoshana

    “I know I can’t hold onto smoke or sand. The focus has to be on what is now, what is here, what is tangible and in front of me.”
    you couldn’t have said it better caro.
    <3 you. keep up the good work

  2. Yvonne D.

    …people we admire, I admire you. You are an amazing young woman, doing an amazing job. Know that your Mother was always so very proud of you…she always verbalized that. You’re in my thoughts and prayers and will remain there…

  3. Sally Korth

    Car Car,
    Take each day as it comes. Be positive and optimistic if that is what is in your heart. NO one can be always up. Somedays you just get through, you do the job, stretch for the kids to give them what they need…..and be done. Keep running. These weeks are full of the pain of loosing your mom, there is no way around it, you just move through it.
    One foot in front of the other, you go to work, look for ways to be grateful, give yourself permission to grieve, whatever form it takes. I love you.

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