Appalachian Vignettes

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jun 04 2014

Induction Week

Day 1: Intro to Appalachia

The first day of induction ran for about 8 1/2 hours but it felt much longer. For the rest of the week we are looking at 12 hour days. To keep our energy levels up it is suggested we carry snacks and a water bottle with us. Today was mostly informational. We learned about the region and TFA’s vision for the region. Appalachia is beautiful and I am glad to be here. Now, off ┬áto bed as induction begins promptly at 7 am in the morning!

Day 2: A Day for US

Induction days are long and the content sparse. Much of the day was spent talking about ourselves! The morning began with an “I am From” poem, followed by a 1 1/2 hour drive to Red River Gorge where we were subjected to a mountain hike for the sole purpose of telling our “story of self” at the summit. Afterwards, we descended the mountain and drove to Miguel’s Pizza where we ate the most delicious pizza ever. During that time we spoke more about our internal values and what they mean to us. I am wondering how all of this will translate into our classrooms in the Fall.

Day 3: Interviews

We transitioned early this morning from upper Appalachia to the southern part of Kentucky in order to visit Lynn Camp High School. It was about a two hour drive. There we met the over enthusiastic principal who is told us about the programs he is implementing in his school. In short, no dream is to big to fulfill. He hired 5 TFA corps members on the spot. The afternoon was spent interviewing at other districts who traveled to Lynn Camp in order to meet us. I was hired on the spot by a local school district! What a relief to know that I’ll be teaching 9th grade English. I have the entire summer to prepare!In

Day 4: Barbecue & Parks

Induction ends with a day spent at Lend-A-Hand center and an afternoon at the park with community members. Lend-A-Hand was nothing short of amazing. Located on Stinking Creek, Lend-A-Hand was founded over fifty years ago by 2 missionaries; one a nurse, the other a teacher. They had many stories to tell including stories about birthing babies on the side of the road, terroristic threats they received, and the murder of a man who burned down their facilities. Overall, this was the highlight of induction week and the most informative experience in Appalachia thus far.

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on teaching and learning in Appalachia, KY…

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