A Connecticut Yankee in the Mississippi Delta

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jun 30 2012

Who We Are (Part I)

This year TFA selected college grads from over 460 colleges and universities. While 65% are white, 26% are men, 23% worked full-time or attended graduate school before applying, an even smaller percentage (like me) do not fall into a specific TFA category.  Several terms are tossed around:  “professional,” or “transitional,” or having “life experience.”  But, that isn’t accurate, either.  Despite the rallying cry about diversity in the ranks, we represent the lack of diversity, or perhaps are an attempt at diversity.  Here, at Delta Institute, we are called Career Changers.  A recent gathering revealed that our backgrounds are extremely diverse: a recent worker in an IT company, someone from Wall Street, a Peace Corps worker who spent time in Africa, a Pennsylvania correctional officer, a Whole Foods manager, former real estate agent, Boston gym owner, phone company employee.   We come from Texas, Michigan, Illinois, California, Ohio, and Massachusetts, to name a few.  We have worked hard, our lives have been different, we have met and overcome numerous obstacles.  We’re not used to dorm life, late-night deadlines, cafeteria food, waiting for a washer or dryer, waiting to get in the shower. We’ve gotten used to getting up before 5 a.m., traveling by school bus to our assigned school district, teaching, meeting, writing lesson plans, attending group sessions or evening meetings, more lesson planning, copying and stapling, followed by falling into bed by midnight.  We are different and the same. We share something intangible –  a nod, a smile, a sigh, a groan – that says we are in this together!  We CHOSE this journey, it was purposeful and well thought-out.

That’s all for now – I’ve got lesson plans to write…

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The Journey Continues…

Mississippi Delta
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