Sunday, April 11, 2010

Digging Myself Out of an Educational Hole

I haven't blogged in a while. As I round the corner on my second year of teaching I have begun to reflect on why I started teaching, what I love about teaching, and what I truly want to teach.

I don't think I could ever say that I believed I could be a life long teacher, but I do know one thing, education is my passion.

I once heard a statistic that something like 70% of Teach For America alumni stay in "education related fields", whatever that is. I can't lie, I'm a corps member, but I was in for the long haul of education since before the TFA indoctrination started. In my graduate school class the other day some student around my age started talking about how she didn't know if she could make a difference, how could she change the system. Maybe it was because it was my first day back in the classroom since the long break, maybe it was the chill from the open window, or maybe I was just angry, but I opened my mouth.

I raised my hand and very loudly asked her, "If you don't think you can make a difference, then what is the point of still being a teacher?" It was probably uncalled for at 8:00 on a Wednesday night to say this to someone who probably means the best, but I was frustrated. Teachers can so easily get complacent. They can go day to day and teach, and yes, they will probably impact the lives of the students in front of them. But isn't there a bigger picture? As teachers isn't it our responsibility to think about the fate of all students to some extent and work towards creating educational change?

The candle is lit, it won't burn out, and I feel recharged and ready to go.