Middle School Hero

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jan 30 2014


Fine, I’ll admit it: I love Lorde’s album Pure Heroine. I think it’s great and (just as importantly for me when I choose new music these days) I think it’s great for 7th graders to listen to as well. So it’s gotten a lot of airtime in P4 recently.

I love a lot of the songs on it but one sticking in my head right now is called Team and the lyric that I’m locked in to right now goes “you know we’re on each other’s team.”

We’re on each other’s team.”

Throughout much of last year, I felt like I had a very small team of supporters. My MTLD was incredible, as were the two first years that were on my teaching team. A veteran took me in under his wing. And all these things were great, but by and large I felt very alone at school. I couldn’t yet relate to the kids so it felt like I was babysitting 30 infants or tending a zoo with 30 animals. I didn’t feel like I had much human interaction and when I did, it felt beauracratic and stiff.

Cut to this year. I ask my principal for life advice. The lady that works the scanner is sewing up a torn sweater for me. The counselors have been great in working with me to get all my soccer boys taken care of. I make it a point to talk to the front office staff every day.

Not all of these relationships help me professionally. In fact, few (if any) of them do. But in a way, that’s precisely the point. It’s about being a teacher, it’s about being human. People smile at me this year. We make small talk.

I feel like I’m on a team. And it feels good.

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