Jessica Shyu, the Teach For America participant who’s teaching and blogging on a Navajo reservation in New Mexico, finds that sometimes the hardest part of the job is coming to terms with the fact that she’s actually the one in charge:
Because after more than 9 months of this "being in charge" business, I still feel like a kid. Sometimes as I run a meeting, I pause mentally and realize that I'M running a meeting; that these adults are listening to what I say and doing as I tell them. We must all be crazy...I'm quickly seeing how, like most things, age is relative. My 12-year-old student who returns to school on Mondays with mysterious bruises (that Social Services doesn't do enough about) has an older soul than mine. Perhaps I feel so especially young because compared to the ages and scars around me, I am still a kid.
Age may be relative, but we’re pretty sure having the wits and courage to teach special ed on a reservation confirms that you’re an adult.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Blogboard blog.