Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Nov 15 2010

High Expectations & Country Music

Ok, don’t laugh too hard at me… but aside from knowing every lyric to every Top 40 song ever, I also happen to be a sucker for the occasional cheesy country music song. There’s one that I actually found on a friend’s teaching blog more than a year ago, and there’s a lyric in it that really gets me. It’s Pat Green “What I’m For”, because along with Detroit factory workers, Texas margaritas, and boxers past their prime (underwear or fighters?), he also happens to be for:

For the inner city teacher
With her heart stuck in her throat
Can still see God in every child
And never gives up hope

I actually listen to this song a lot when I’m reflecting on how I’m doing as a teacher. Is this me? I hear the word “God” as TFA High Expectations, as a 100% in math class, as a college degree… is that what I see for all my kids? The TFA vision gets worn down when I have more than a hundred students and I know enough about bell curves to know that they should never all be acing my class, but there’s a fine line between being practical and giving up on kids. It’s so easy to cross that line, and I’ve definitely been guilty of mentally throwing up my hands at the startlingly low ones and moving on to help others who can better use my time. I really do listen to this song when I need to be reminded not to do that. You promised you wouldn’t laugh.

One Response

  1. Wess

    No laughing. When you’re stretched so thin, the line between practical and giving up on kids is really, really hard to see.

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