Teaching in Kansas City, one day at a time.

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Sep 27 2013

Quitting is not an Option

I feel like a wuss. Like I’m weak. The amount that I want to quit is overwhelming. I just keep reminding myself the just for today, quitting is not an option.

Ms. D reminds me daily, “If we were quitters we’d quit, but thank God we are not quitters.” She provides me mental sanity and spiritual peace. I am so grateful she is there. She often states that this is a battle between good and evil, and that good always comes out on top.

I discovered today that 45% of Teach for America corps members placed at my elementary school have either been fired or quit. This is opposed to the about 10% of corps members who drop out nationally. My school is a really difficult working environment.

I never ceased to be amazed at the kindness of others. God sends people in to help you when you need it the most. I was definitely on the verge of raising that 45% statistic yesterday, and I reached out. Told as many people as would listen, asked for help. Ms. P, Ms. D, and Ms. R all came to help me today. A teacher I met in my 12 step group offered to come help in my classroom. She spent the whole day helping me today. Also, three 6th graders asked me if they could help out in my class, they came and graded my kids tests and helped them with simple math problems. God really sent in the troops today.

The biggest miracle: My kids finally understand the “make a ten” strategy to add. If nothing else, they learned that.

My MTLD (Manager of Teacher Leadership Development) reminds me to look at the positives. ┬áMy class might have one kid sitting at her desk, while everyone else is screaming and throwing things and she would say, “You did a really awesome job of getting that one kid to follow direction.” She is also extremely insightful and helpful in finding the things that are ineffectual and creating a plan to deal with them one thing at a time.

Though my school environment is a hot mess, I am really grateful I have the TFA community behind me. If it wasn’t for my roommates (who are corps members) and my MTLD I don’t think I’d still be showing up. ┬áThere is definitely unity in shared experience and difficulties.

Here’s to gratitude, positivity, and learning. May I find a way to be grateful all through Black October…

3 Responses

  1. Donnie

    I was one of the %45 of TFA CMs who didn’t make it at your school. I also know just how incredible Ms. D is (at least, I’m thinking this is the same). If possible, I’d love to send her a message to let her know what I’m up to. You could send me an email, if you want.

  2. M

    Thank you so much for all of your encouraging comments. I will probably use the Gold song with my students. I think they’ll like it, I know I do.

    I really empathize with you. I know what it’s like to know your time with your mom is limited. I am so sorry. Enjoy the time as much as you can. Know that you will hear so much advice on how to cope, ignore all of it that doesn’t serve you. I find everyone tries to fix what’s wrong, but really there is nothing wrong with feeling sad, nothing wrong with having your experience however you have it, there is no wrong way to get through.

    I so appreciate your support.

    I’ve actually read some of your blogs before and I am perusing more of them now. It is so comforting to have a sounding board and a community of people who have survived.

    Oh and trust me, I say the serenity prayer in my classroom, daily!

    Thanks for all your support!
    Ms. Rogers

  3. You are not WEAK!!!! you are in a really, really hard situation. REALLY hard. On so so many levels.

    Please be nice to yourself :)

    I think that God sent me the following song when I really really needed it.


    Britt Nicole is my age, dresses like me and we went through the same horrible thing when we were in 3rd grade. I heard her on the radio when I really needed hope and was crying hard on a late night drive home-when I researched the song when I arrived home, I couldn’t believe how all the details matched up-the parents divorce, the scared little girls we were, the search for love and meaning.

    You are worth more than GOLD!

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Teaching for the first time… praying we all get out alive

Kansas City
Elementary School
Elementary Education

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