Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Each year we give out t-shirts to the new group of Mississippi Teacher Corps participants. It has our logo (thanks to Allison Litten, Class of 2000) on the front, and an outline of Mississippi on the back. Inside the outline we put everyone's name from that year.

My first year as Program Manager, in the summer of 2003, we gave out t-shirts during the initial summer training. Big mistake, as some people quit. It bothered me that people were walking around, wearing t-shirts from our program with their name on it, and they hadn't finished the program.

Having learned that lesson the next year I waited until the fall to order the t-shirts. Much better, but the illustrious Class of 2004 still had one person leave the program after the first year. So, this year I've decided to wait until the second summer to give out the t-shirts. From now on people will have to be in the Teacher Corps for a full year before they get that light grey, four color, MTC t-shirt with their name on it.

Which is a long way of saying, I'm glad I waited because three of the first-years have dropped out. Sarah DeGraaf, Ari Glogower, and Reggie Quinn have all finished the year teaching but have decided not to return for a second year. Without going into detail all three essentially said, "Teaching isn't for me."

As Dave Molina, one of our first-years, said: "The cardinal rule of Teacher Corps is that you finish the year." Or maybe it was: "The cardinal sin in Teacher Corps is to leave during the year." Yes, that is the cardinal sin. I really can't be too upset with someone if they finish the school year and then decide to leave. The bad news though is that there are three people out there who really wanted to be in the Teacher Corps, and who would have made good teachers.

I guess as long as we can continue to gurantee to school districts that our teachers will finish the year then we will be okay.

But I'm glad I didn't order the t-shirts yet.

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