"And I said, Here am I, send me."

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jun 24 2011

“Hi, I’ll be your 6th grade teacher this year.”

So Induction officially ended yesterday for our Kansas City Region. Let me tell you. It is an absolutely amazing group. Not just the Corps Members, but all of the top dogs who are making TFA happen in Kansas City. I truly feel honored to be a part of TFA Kansas City.

The days were long. I woke up at 5:45 every day and they had us go until dinner at night. As hard as it was to wake up some days, I appreciated it because I know it was to help get us ready for Institute where our days are going to feel so much longer and harder. It’s funny for me because I have lived in a suburb of Kansas City my whole life, but there is SO much to Kansas City that I had no idea about. In terms of things to do, places to go, etc. We got privileged enough to do some awesome things that I love about Kansas City such as, go to a Royals game, go to Dave and Busters at the Legends, and so much more.

So the by far most exciting, unexpected, thrilling thing that happened at Induction occurred on Tuesday. The majority of us had not been interviewed or placed at a school. This wasn’t out of the ordinary though, and most of us anticipated to not find out until during Institute or possibly after. But we were planning on meeting the 30 principals of the KCMSD on Tuesday, which in it of itself was awesome. But after the day got going and we had a few speakers, which included Superintendent John Covington. It got me so excited to work in KCMSD after listening to all of them speak. But THEN the unexpected happen. Our next speaker got interrupted by a lady that works for HR I believe. And then they made the announcement that every single person was placed! Oh my goodness I have not been that excited in a long time. We all looked to our left and right with jaws dropped. It was one of the most exciting moments I have ever been a part of in my life. Seriously. It was like the NBA Draft. They played eye of the tiger (which I completely appreciated this idea, I’m cheesy like that..don’t judge) and they would call up the principal of each school then called all the teachers up that would be placed with them. The principals were so great and brought some kind of cute gift and then we shook their hands and signed our OFFICIAL contracts.

For some reason, while I was waiting to get called, I had a huge feeling on my heart that I would get placed at Troost Elementary. I don’t know why. But I kept looking over to Libby, my roommate who became one of my closest friends, and RaShelle, who also became one of my closest friends. And I kept just saying to them, “Dude, I’m going to Troost I know it.” So finally Ms. Campbell from Troost Elementary walked up to the stage and I remember my heart started racing. And wouldn’t ya know it…I hear…”Kayla Higginbotham.” Again, one of the most exciting moments I have ever experienced.

We have 10 new Corps members going to Troost, who are all absolutely amazing and have such big hearts. And we will be joining Phyllis who was a 2009-2010 Corps member and is also one of the coolest people I have met. We had the chance the day after to go get a quick look at Troost. And let me tell YOU…it is beautiful. The school has so much character and all I could think about was meeting my students on the first day. I saw what is going to be potentially my classroom..which is the biggest classroom in the building. I have had a lot of emotions and thoughts go through my mind since I found out my placement, which is natural. Most of it right now I would say is excitement. But there definitely has been so moments of nervousness, such as when I found out I am potentially and probably going to be the only 6th Grade Teacher at Troost. But honestly, right now I just can’t wait to meet my students and start teaching.

I get 2 days at home before I leave Sunday morning for Institute in L.A. I woke up yesterday with a horrible sinus infection that I am trying to QUICKLY get over. I’m going to go ahead and say that going into Institute sick would be very very very challenging. Therefore I’m eating about 2 Bomb Pops every hour to help my throat and taking a lot of medicine for my headache.

Prayers are appreciated as Institute starts. Our KC Team has carefully prepared us mentally, physically, and emotionally, so now I’m just ready to get going.

‘Til next time…KCMO we’re the best fo sho! (Our cheer that is going to win)

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