Caroline in the Delta

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Nov 23 2010

On the other side-

I love the amount of times that my last post has already been referenced in real life. It’s nice to know people read. I feel it right that I balance the last post with anecdotes from the other side of the fence.

Living in Arkansas means the landscape (pause), the landscape. The landscape. Every day when I drive I get overwhelmed, overwhelmed. There is something about the long, flat land… the fields with single trees, tiny broken white houses, telephone wires. Arkansas is absolutely beautiful.

This morning one of my students walked up and showed me a necklace with some plastic beads on it. “Oh, that’s cute!” She held it up. “It’s wonderful, you made it?” She nodded. “It’s for you.” I am still wearing it.

Another student, a student who is always quiet, gets good grades, is in the “in” crowd and only real disruptions in class are whispering or acting smug… today he pressed a note into my hand, “You are the nicest teacher in the 6th grade. I don’t know why everyone is so mean to you. I am going to be as nice as I can. And I am going to try and get everyone else to be nice.”

I especially love the last sentence. Not passive niceness, but he is going to use his influence for good will! Tiny sixth grade boy, hats off to you!

Also, (and I apologize for facebook followers, because this post is basically just a recap of statuses and photos) my students have once again begun to compliment my outfits. They had stopped for a while, either because they lost interest in me or I lost interest in myself (thus resulting in poor fashion). I got new shoes over the weekend, girls and boys alike gave me kind words. I took my ponytail out for about 5 seconds to redo it during first period and one boy said, “LEAVE IT DOWN!” after which seemingly the entire class cheered, “Yeah! Leave it down! Leave it down! It’s so pretty when it’s down!”

Usually I try to keep things like this at bay, but it’s nice to be so heavily praised every once in a while. There are some very distinct wonderful perks to being a young sixth grade teacher. Just as frequent as the insults (racist? mean? can’t match my outfits?) come the eager compliments.

All in all, I still like my job. AND I am finally confident with my decision to stay in the delta for Thanksgiving. I must have changed my mind AT LEAST 50 times in the past 48 hours, but now it’s done. I will be here for our field trip to the movies tomorrow, and then I will hold Mitch as a hostage best friend (considering we live in the same house) for the next five days. YES.

(Sarah, I hope you’re reading this and are INCREDIBLY JEALOUS.)

One Response

  1. sarah

    I AM reading this, but don’t worry, I’m keeping jealousy at bay….

    Have fun in the Delta, and happy thanksgiving! Miss you!

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