People often ask me what Teach for America is, and why I am doing it. It’s hard to muster up the words to give the right reason, what I am feeling inside, and to put my passion and belief into words. I realized that there must not be enough words to express passion. It is a feeling, a gut feeling. It’s like having to tell someone why you love someone, sure, you might use some adjectives to describe that person or how they make you feel, but it does not do justice to what you really feel inside. I feel that I am not the only one. I am passionate about Teach for America’s mission, and I am excited for the opportunity to become a corps member and be a part of the transformation change for so many reasons.
In less than a month, I drive down to summer institute in Cleveland, Mississippi. The past few months have been life changing enough as it is. I recently graduated, went through relationship challenges coming out of college, and spent a few months on an island over a thousand miles from Indiana…a small town in Western, Pennsylvania, where I spent twenty-two years of my life. Now I am getting ready to pack again, getting the car ready to drive to Mississippi, a state or region I have never been to or thought I’d ever be. It’s nerve wracking, but it is beyond exciting. Sometimes though, it is hard to focus on the passion, why I am doing it, while the logistics of life is sometimes all you focus on. The packing, the moving, the explaining to family members why I am going to Mississippi to teach so far away from home when I can at the High School down the street from my house.
It is the passion that keeps me going though, and makes me believe that what I am doing is not only the right decision, but it is what I was meant to do. I am going to help change lives.
Teaching is not just a job to me. I believe in what I am doing, I feel like I was meant to do this. And beyond anything, I truly want to help kids see that they …. can. do. it.
It just takes hard work, grit, and a spark that can ignite the passion that already dwells within.
Since I am a Social Studies teacher, I’ll end with a quote from Plutarch:
“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.”