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.