Today I’m doubting my decision to become a corps member and I haven’t even made it to institute. My heart is heavy from hearing 99 billion different iterations of “I’m better than these kids, so I will go and save them.” No one says it like that of course, it’s clothed in reasonable sounding statements like “these kids lives are so unfair and mine was so easy, I have to teach them to save them” (as if students have no agency and are waiting to be saved by young bright fresh out of college kids. as if communities have no agency, as if only the students you meet should be saved) and “parents feed their kids such crap!” (as if it’s possible to buy and prepare perfectly healthy foods 24 / 7 when you don’t have money and work 3 jobs. also – school lunches and breakfast aren’t healthy yet – so it’s easy to say – make a healthy choice, but the federal government is still having trouble modeling it). That’s just today. I could make at least 30 more additions to list, but will spare myself the pain. I don’t want to have this discussion any more, I don’t want to have to be hit with the weight of deeply ingrained prejudice, which is all the worse when it comes from intelligent, bright, young people. I just can’t, I can’t, I can’t and it’s not even institute yet. I’m not sure I’m gonna make it.
I’m still standing thanks to the reason I Teach for America (so lovely worded by a group of Aboriginal Women):
“If you’ve come to help me, you’re wasting your time. If you’ve come become your liberation is tied up with mine – then let us work together”
So let it be written, so let it be done. Let me love even those who don’t see the whole picture. Let me work with students and parents as equals. Let my desire to work collaboratively and with respect come through my lessons every day.