Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Inadequate vs. Powerful
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure..."- Marianne Williams
I struggled with this idea today. Today was my first day of Teach for America Induction. I met 120 other corps members and a host of TFA staff, alumni, and current corps members. Amazing people...each and every one of them. So talented, intelligent, motivated, driven...inspiring. I was so humbled to be in their presence.
We had a session where we became better acquainted with the purpose of Teach for America- to eliminate the achievement gap. The statistics almost made me cry. The fact that some students are allowed to fail while others are encouraged to succeed is disgusting, especially considering the idea that its no fault of their own. Moreover, the system is set up so that the statistics are perpetuated and the reality of the situation is ignored.
Needless to say, I got a better idea of the challenges I will face for at least the next two years of my young life. If I didn't know before, I know now- this is going to be the hardest thing I've ever had to do. SO as I sat there listening to current corps members and alumni talk about their experiences, I began to feel a little intimidated about this whole situation. I started thinking- Damn, am I cut out for this? Can I really be successful in motivating my students to reach and exceed their highest potential? I started to question my ability to do this. I started to feel....inadequate.
Then, I remembered that quote by Marianne Williams..."our deepest fear is NOT that we are inadequate." But I certainly wasn't feeling "powerful beyond measure" in that moment. I had to really reflect and do some quick soul searching. I realize that I am only as powerful as I allow myself to be. My doubts, fears, or thoughts of inadequacy will do NOTHING for my students. I can make a difference and I can be successful. Regardless of the statistics. Regardless of a messed up system. Regardless of my students' lack of sufficient education up until the point they enter MY classroom. It is up to me to liberate myself from any fears that might limit my potential and hinder me from achieving great success.
My deepest fear is actually pigeons.
Living and Learning.