Musings of a Southern Belle

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Nov 20 2014

On Being a Cheerleader

I’ve always dreamed big. Ever since I can remember, I have had ambitious goals. I have tried to do more and do better than what other people thought was possible. This drive, this ambition, this motivation that stems from somewhere deep inside of me has always existed. This summer, in the midst of extreme personal turmoil, I almost lost it. I almost lost the spark that drives me because I lost a person who was one of my biggest cheerleaders. The tinders of my former self remained hidden under layers of ash, burned from painful experiences that had accumulated over the last two years, but they were hidden because there was no one there to re-ignite them. As this school year progressed, I realized that I was floundering, in the words of Charlotte Kasl, having lost sight of what I wanted to do with my life. As I started to…

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I woke up this morning, now in my third year of teaching, and drove to school thinking, “October really isn’t that hard anymore.” I should have known better than to think that. A few hours later, my whole world was turned upside down as I found out that one of my favorite students had passed…

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Feb 09 2014

On learning, not teaching

As I sat in church this morning, I had a remarkable realization. I thought I came to Appalachia to teach, to educate, and to enlighten. With only three months left in my TFA commitment, I finally realized that I have gotten it backwards. Yes, in a sense, I may be teaching, educating and enlightening, but…

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Dec 10 2013

On Watching My Kids SOAR!

A student's thoughts from the SOAR conference

Yesterday, I took some of my students to the SOAR conference with the movers and shakers of my region to discuss opportunities for saving our region in the face of the decline of our biggest employer and the driver of our economy. It was an amazing experience to hear from so many of the people…

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Dec 02 2013

Let Your Kids Be Your Hope

my kids are awesome

For all of you first year CMs who are having the worst month of your life right now, this post is for you. IT DOES GET BETTER. THERE IS HOPE. BELIEVE IN YOUR STUDENTS AND GIVE THEM A PLATFORM TO SPEAK THEIR MINDS. THEY WILL ASTOUND, INSPIRE AND MOTIVATE YOU. This time last year, I…

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Mar 07 2013

Weeds Are Flowers Too.

I quickly realized after getting my teaching placement that if I blogged about my school and community, it would be easy for people to know it was me since there are only a handful of us where I teach. On the off-chance that someone would read one of my posts and misconstrue it, or even…

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Jun 25 2012

I’ve got the Delta blues

My kids yelled at me today. My school has a cockroach infestation. There is either no air or air on full blast. It’s over 100 degrees outside and we have no air on the hour long bus ride. My kids are so far behind that I don’t see them ever catching up. I need to…

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Jun 03 2012

Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to my blog! I’m a Southern girl who was raised in a white, middle class home in the state in which I will be teaching. There are a few things you should know about me and about this blog: I have seen the achievement gap firsthand and want to do my part to close…

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