Caroline in the Delta

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Aug 27 2010

If you’re wondering

how my life is, it is good. Thank God daily for existence, for the miracle that is 130 sixth grade students. I feel shocked and honored and quiet about how much I truly enjoy teaching. I am a terrible, terrible planner; I do many things over and over incorrectly; my students are not perfect; I am not confident in my ability to teach these kids something they don’t know… but… I love teaching. I love the comfort that comes from standing in front of a room. I love high expectations. I love personal relationship.

While on lunch duty yesterday, I got to connect to two students. One girl who came off as so smug the first two days, who was so excited to tell me about how she’s going to be the first person in her family to graduate from high school. The other a boy who reads two books at a time, all the time.

Today I learned one of my students has 26 siblings. I watched the reading teacher cry as she talked about how much she cared about our kids. I have been put in a place that is so, so amazing, so beautiful, so genuine, so — I wish I was more in practice with quality writing, because I would try to articulate this feeling more. It grows from inside. It supercedes the frustration of my personal life, it melts my aching feet, it propels me when I run down Dumas streets.

Today Sarah, Nicolle and I rode 6 miles down a mostly desolate highway, past cotton fields and tiny abandoned houses, big machinery and farms. I remembered how to ride without hands for the first time in probably ten years. I remembered the stress of needing to plan, but still had the opportunity to feel the wind billowing my shirt, to press my feet on the pedals, to go miles down flat, flat Arkansas land.

I found out yesterday that I am moving out of THE PALACE soon. For circumstances beyond my control. But, as usual, I’ve been provided for. The house I was originally going to live in will be my home for the next two years. Two boys and two girls, I will move into balance the scales. Everything will work out.

Don’t send anything to Edwards Street, in other words! I’ll post pictures of THE PALACE before I say goodbye. Unfortunate, but as I told Nicolle, just another part of the story. I moved to Arkansas, I didn’t live in one place for more than three weeks for four months straight. We walk, we stumble, we walk again.

8 Responses

  1. Emily Beard

    I love reading these. It’s truly inspiring to see someone my own age, someone I know, going out into the world and truly making a difference. I may not know you as well as I could, but I certainly know enough to see that you are amazingly capable and endlessly motivated to do incredible things for these kids, this town, and for those you’re inspiring. Thank you for sharing. =)

  2. Eeekk, I put something in the mail on Monday. I hope you get it before you move.

    • Got it! Yet to put the USB in, I literally fell asleep on our living room rug before I could pull my computer out of my bag last night (are you surprised?)

      • Not at all, seems like typical Caro. Glad you got it and I hope your move goes smoothly.

  3. Sally Korth

    Car Car,
    I will be interested to hear what caused the move so soon…….
    Good job riding no handed!! I used to be able to ride the whole of Plainview, the street we lived on in Detroit, when I was a kid no handed.
    You are doing fine, you have a good head on your shoulders.

  4. Shoshana

    hi teacher caroline
    sent you a postcard last week.. hope you get it before the move. <3 u

  5. vanessa beard

    who is emily beard? this is vanessa beard. i searched genevive lampinen (wanting to find her room number to send flowers then i find out you cant send to ICU)and now i see her twitter then your twitter then your blog. i am so glad youre doing so well! ill bookmark this for inspiration

    • hahahahaha, funny how the internet works like that “her twitter then your twitter then your blog”!

      and funnier that you’re bookmarking for inspiration. hah. I need YOUR inspiration. send me some dried flowers or dead bugs in a jar or something (not the second, actually, at all, I have enough dead bugs on my doorstep).

      Miss you.

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