Caroline in the Delta

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Sep 18 2010


Here I sit, at Ray’s Barbeque in Monticello. We have found a place with wi-fi, within an hour, that is suitable for working on a Saturday afternoon. Half of my outfit is from Wal-Mart: Miley Cyrus fake-jean button down shirt, children’s size four generic black tennis shoes, gold grandpa-style Timex. I’m listening to Michael Jackson.

Another week down as a real teacher. I only made two students cry, sobbing as they ask me to please not document them. So sorry, so sorry. We started our first real in-class project, an essay about our everyday hero. One girl chose me, a quote from her outline: “Ms. Lampinen is inspiring because she believes in us even when we don’t believe in ourselves.” If you’re wondering why I teach for America, there’s your answer. More insight: she’s a student whose name I could not remember when I saw her at the pee-wee football game. Just goes to show that it’s where you think you’re doing the least that you’re doing the most.

I have 17 students with As in my class, now that I’ve graded our first test. That’s about 13%. Four are failing, which is about 3%. I feel okay about that. So far my biggest weakness is planning. With some objectives, I don’t feel comfortable with the material myself, let alone teaching it to kids. Sigh. But I’m getting there, and I realize every day how much easier this will be next year.

I am still in love with my students; I am still in love with Arkansas. Every day I thank the sun for shining and the district for paying me to influence young minds. Thank you, Teach For America. Thank you, universe.

I got a check from TFA for my trip to DC for the 20th anniversary summit! Cannot wait! Fingers are crossed for some really huge speakers, and I’m pumped because I can see all the CMs I worked with when I was an OC at the Philly Institute in 2009. I’m starting to think about traveling more– one trip is semi-planned for the east coast (Philly & NYC) in November, and now the summit trip. Happy am I.

One Response

  1. Cindy

    Just goes to show that it’s where you think you’re doing the least that you’re doing the most.

    Good to keep in mind – you are a role model for the kids 24/7, and you are doing so great in that role!

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