Facing La Frontera

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Sep 11 2012

Two Thoughts Tuesday



1) Parent calls are still some of my favorites. Today’s call was about a student who started to slip this week. His mom, before I even finished the sentence, was saying – got it, I will speak with him, this will be fixed.  BTW – 4 out of 5 calls today were in Spanish. I really don’t know what the difference is…maybe I’m speaking slower or maybe the reggaeton radio is helping, but I understand 95% now, as opposed to the 70% I understood in the Valley, and the parents understand me much more too. In thinking today, though, the other difference is that my Spanish was in the minority at my school….70% of teachers spoke it at my old school…..whereas at this school, maybe 30% do? So I know that mine is better than the average teachers. I’m sure that an improvement too.

2) Tonight, as I went to a friend’s house, made dinner AND dessert, AND watched tv, I realized that for the first time in two years, my all-encompassing identity is not being a teacher. I’m not sure what my top identity is currently – an independent woman…? Yes, I’m still teacher, Catholic, Aggie, woman, daughter, and sister, but I would not consider myself primarily any of those right now. It’s interesting, but maybe I’ve found balance of sorts? whoa. I mean, I got to school at 7:15 yesterday and stayed until 6, so it’s not perfect balance….but…..it’s a refreshing move towards balance.

My lack of focus causes mild anxiety, and yet part of me is revelling in this feeling. I talk about other things, I do other things, and I think about other things. I’m reading books (young adult books, but I like them…double bonus there…oh, except Game of Thrones, which is great), I’m cooking, and I’m doing things on the weekend like concerts and gatherings. My apartment is clean and put together actual outfits to wear?!?! My justification is that if I begin grad school, life will be consumed, so I intend to enjoy every minute this year.  I’m in love with Houston. I see the skyline at night, and gives me pause as the Valley sunsets would. It’s a different kind of beauty, but memorable all the same. I know I’m still in the honeymoon phase with Houston, but it is grand.


Random, but it’s on my mind. For Teach for America….if we want to keep teachers in the classroom, we have to make it a sustainable practice. Teachers have to feel like their personal lives have value along with their work mission. Otherwise, you won’t feel whole.

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