Blog of the Peer Advising Leadership Program, College of Natural Resources, UC Berkeley

April 21, 2010 4:28 PM

Teaching for America

The last four years flew by so fast. It seems like just yesterday I was here for CalSO and I didn't even know what CNR was. Since then, I have learned so much, through classes, extracurricular activities, jobs, internships, and friends. What these experiences taught me was that I am very privileged to have been able to study at Berkeley, and there are still many inequalities that exist in the world and within the U.S., especially with education. Learning about these issues inspired me to apply to the Teach for America program, and thankfully, I was expected. I will be teaching secondary biology in the Mississippi Delta region for the next two years.

I think when people are first looking for a job after college, for many people, especially science majors at Berkeley, teaching is not on their radar. However, this country is in desperate need of teachers, who can inspire their students, because the students are the future of this country. Without enough teachers, the students in this country can not get the quality education that they need. We need to deal with the achievement gaps that exist. Well, you may say, if you're going to teach, why not then stay in California or the Bay Area? I think that we learn a lot about urban poverty in the media, but we tend to forget about rural poverty. I've always lived in urban/suburban areas, and I want to learn more about the neglected regions of this country. Not only that, I think that sometimes you have to put yourself outside of your comfort zone in order to learn something. You have to put yourself into challenging situations, and see how you're going to survive through it. I know that I will learn a lot from the experience, and I hope the students will also learn from me too. Spiderman's uncles said once, "with privilege (great power) comes great responsibility", and I think as students we have a responsibility to dedicate our selves to public service. For more information about Teach for America, visit teachforamerica.org.


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