Caroline in the Delta

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Dec 12 2011

Marginally lethargic Sunday.

Tonight about fifteen teachers and fifteen students gathered in the library of Lighthouse Academies in Pine Bluff to celebrate leadership. It was a semi-formal dinner to celebrate our students. Other TFA-ers: this is the best idea ever, especially for spread our regions like us. We had three different towns pull students into this one event.

My girl, we’ll call her Dria, was perfect. It was amazing to immediately notice that all the students were remarkably similar to the teachers that brought them. I was proud to have my Dria, who carefully wrote and planned her answers to the, “What does leadership mean to you?” and “What problems do you see in your community that you’d like to fix?” My favorite part was introducing her. I could have cried, very seriously. Seeing what this dinner meant to her (she said at least 10 times throughout the night, I just can’t believe you picked me. Of the whole sixth grade. There are so many better students… me: No, Dia, there’s not, this is exactly why I picked you. Other students are smart, yes, but they have other opportunities like this. You need to be recognized for how hard you work and how smart you are, too.)

In the middle of tonight’s dinner I felt a huge magnet between me and the Delta, and especially myself and Dia. Like: There is no way in hell I will ever leave you. I felt a deeper attachment, and sync of real life and delta life, than I have yet. And especially to Dumas. KIPP Delta and I have a phone date Thursday, but I feel like if I chose to stay in the delta there’s no way I could leave Dumas. Why would I? It is an amazing thing to establish a name and reputation for yourself in one place, finally, after a year and a half. I hate the idea of leaving unless it’s for something I’m super passionate about, and I don’t know how passionate I could be about KIPP.

Oak Park Prep, though, the Sacramento school, the more I talk to people the more confident I am in my enthusiasm for it. Kate pointed out that by investing this much in me it really says something about this principal, the way he works with people, and how interested he is in me as an employee. I also keep hearing people, over and over, in totally different circumstances, say things like, “I believe blessings come for the right things at the right times” etc etc, and if I just got this slew of professional development opportunities and applications and things pushing me to keep teaching, well then, maybe I need to just keep teaching.

At this point, I don’t know what else I could enthusiastically do.

Last, about Sacramento principal, is that by working with me now I’m already establishing a relationship with him, which would make the transition that much easier if I did leave Dumas. At least I’d have one person I was comfortable with, and it would be the person determining a large part of my quality of life. So that would be good. And at least at this point I’ve at least taught before. Basically I’m reassuring myself that if I chose to make that jump, I wouldn’t have to go through a re-enactment of the 2010-2011 school year over again. Because I don’t think I’d make it.

7 Responses

  1. Sam

    This was awesome. You = awesome.

    • hahahah, Thanks Sam? :D

      I’m sure you’re pretty phenomenal, as well.

  2. Kate

    Just wanted to say that your blog is one of my favorites on Teach for Us…I have been following a few blogs consistently over the past year and yours is one of them. Thank you for providing such a great insight into the life of a TFAer and keep the posts coming!

    • Well of course! Are you a TFA-er? (Also: thank you!)

      • Kate

        A hopeful TFA-er…enduring the still-month late for the final ruling!

        • Well I’m feelin great vibes from you, and sounds like you’ve been doing your research by keeping tabs on us, so you’re probably in the right direction.

          I hope you get placed in the delta!! :D

  3. Kate


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