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edu180atl: radhika deshmukh 4.24.12

As a first-year, full-time teacher, I found that it is easy to get lost in the daily routines involved with teaching 80 excited, sassy, bright, witty, sweet kids. There is behavior management to think about and videos to find and papers to grade and always, always, always planning to do.

I chose this life for a reason, though. After my first year of college, I became involved in a summer non-profit organization that works to empower kids to realize their fullest potential in terms of academics and character. That summer, my own life was as transformed as the lives of my students as I worked for and with them.

5 years later, I have taken on a new role as the leader of all of the 8th grade students and teachers. In our first faculty dinner together, the director of the program spoke to us about the importance of not only working for and working with, but also being with. In essence, just experiencing life with others is as important as helping them to accomplish something or accomplishing something with them.

When the new 8th grade teachers and rising 8th grade students met for the first time the next day, I made sure to be with both groups. We have so much in this world to achieve and so much room to grow. I learned that the task is important and it will be there. But let us enjoy each other as we strive to accomplish that work.

Radhika Deshmukh (@rdeshmukh): 2011 Teach for America corps member teaching 6th and 7th grade science. She was born in India, is currently an amateur cat lady, and can’t wait to practice being with her students till the end of the school year.

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