The MEGnitude of Change

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Oct 11 2012

“Transformational change” doesn’t just apply to our kids

Fall break is full of promise. It holds morning after morning of sleeping in, long-awaited visits with friends & family, and mental space that goes on for miles.

As fall break draws closer and I have some time to think about my classroom beyond pulling together lesson plans, I’m starting to pull back to a macro picture.

What is my classroom culture, and what can I do to shape it to become more productive & safe for my students? How am I preparing my students for the rest of their lives, and am I doing so effectively? What have my experiences led me to believe about the nature of our education system and how it needs to shift?

Beyond education — how is this experience changing me? What have I learned about my own stereotypes and my own interactions with students? What has made me uncomfortable, and why?

I’ve come to a startling conclusion: I can never & will never go back to the person I was back in June, when I drove across the Arkansas/Oklahoma border for the first time. My understanding of our nation & our nation’s children has shifted; my understanding of myself has shifted. My sense of purpose & my concept of how I want to spend my career has shifted. My kids have snuck their way into my heart, and it’s all under my skin.

This experience isn’t about being a TFA corps member, or even about being a John Marshall teacher.  In a lot of ways, this experience — and how I explain it through this blog — is about how I’m growing up with my students.

We are growing up with our students. We are undergoing transformational change.

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