Teaching Spanish in the Delta

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Aug 12 2012

I’m back?

It’s been a long time since I posted, apologies.  Teachforus sent me several emails to remind me to post.  I have been busy with life changes and those fun sorts of things not necessarily TFA related. Coming out of Institute it felt like my entire world revolved around teaching and Teach For America. But no real life is still happening. In my last post I ended with saying that I would post about why I am here and why I am doing TFA. Well sorry, that’s not what I’m writing about this time.  I don’t know what I’m writing about.  I’m just going with it.  It’s been so long since my last post that I actually didn’t remember what I had written.  I was excited to be a real person again in my last post and overall I still am. Just have had quite the time being a real person.

I have signed a lease for my house and a contract with the school district. I feel more official.  My personal life is kinda out of whack.  I started training for a half marathon. By training I mean I ran today and yesterday and my legs are in pain.  I still love my house. I like it a little less at night when the large cockroaches come out to play.  They might be officially called water bugs, but they certainly look like cockroaches to me. I’ve dedicated a shoe to smacking ‘em dead.  I am still working on not squealing like a 2 year old when I kill them though.  Sorry roach friends, this is my house now.

Last week was the first week of professional development. I’ve been excited to meet  and get to know more of the local teachers.  It’s been interesting. When I’m asked where I’m from, and I say Chicago area, the most common response has been “Are you Teach For America?”  With their question, I say yes. But  I think to myself, no I might be part of  Teach For America but I am not it.  I am a person. I am in fact just a girl that still sleeps with stuffed animals and takes afternoon naps when possible.  Then I realize that I although I am those things, I am also representing so much more having joined TFA and becoming a teacher. That’s one reason I haven’t been able to post on this site. I just feel like everything I say might be held against me.  That I can’t write as a real person anymore. That I have to write representing an organization or a movement.  But no, I am a person and the point of this blog wasn’t to be the poster child of TFA.  So there.

Anyway. I am doing fine in El Dorado.  One of my friends from college visited and it was great having her here. We were locked out of her car one night at Walgreens.  When the car door unlocker awesome people came we quickly found out they were originally from Chicago and had just gotten back to El Dorado the day before. They were a father son combination. The son was holding the flashlight to the door while the father worked on prying the door open. The father asked me if I was going to be a student at the high school. I said, no actually I’m going to be a teacher. He asked, oh, well what are you going to teach? I said Spanish. He LAUGHED. Yes, laughed in a way that deserves all caps.  He just kept laughing, and his son just nodded not even cracking a smile. I laughed with him.  He chuckled and said, I’m just going to leave that one alone.  He wished me luck and we parted ways.  I appreciated it a lot. The laughter. The honesty.  The genuine reaction that I predicted people may have when they found out that me (an Asian American) is teaching Spanish.  I wasn’t offended. It’s fun and cool to think about how I ended up here of all places.  Living proof of globalization and expanding opportunities.

This is long and disorganized. But I just want to end with this: I am a big ball of emotions right now. I am actively trying to make the positive ones outweigh the less positive ones (it’s not too difficult).  I continue to be optimistic. This week I am lucky to meet some of my students (and their families) for the first time. Next week I start teaching.  Here we go.

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    Stories and reflections about the TFA experience in the Delta.


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