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I’m no Superman

November 7, 2013
EAST

EAST

 

ALLISON EAST
News Editor

 

Netflix was a great invention. Not because I’ve found new favorite shows in “Parks and Recreation” and “American Horror Story,” but because the awesome documentary section gives me a new passion each week.

 

During summer break I sat down and watched “Waiting for ‘Superman,’” a documentary about the failures of the American public school system. While I didn’t agree with everything I saw, it opened my eyes to the inadequacies in our system.

 

“Waiting for “’Superman’” exposes problems with state-mandated testing, the tenure system and the lottery system along with others. It follows the plights of five students and their families who hope to improve their education situations by moving into better schools. In most cases they were unsuccessful.

 

While trying to figure my life out a few months ago, I stumbled upon the Teach for America website, and helping those kids became somewhat a reality. The program provided a way for me to give back without committing my life to teaching, and it really excited me, so I applied.

 

For those who don’t know what TFA is, it’s a nonprofit organization designed to send high-achieving college graduates into low-income communities for at least two years.

 

I made it to the final interview round, and I’m excited for the opportunity.

 

Growing up in Vicksburg, Miss., I attended a “failing” school, so I can empathize with what it’s like. As a whole, Vicksburg High School teachers were far from the best, and, like I saw done in “Waiting for ‘Superman,’” VHS administration often shuffled those bad teachers around instead of getting rid of them. It was rough.

 

But good teachers can make a difference. I believe I am the student and person I am because some teachers took time to make the best out of a bad school situation. Mr. Wong, Ms. Campbell, Ms. Habeeb and Ms. Carpenter all took time out of their lives to invest in mine, and now I may get to do the same. It’s a great feeling.

 

I’m no longer sitting at home waiting for Superman. I’m trying to put on my cape, fly out into the real world and save the children myself.

 

Allison East is a senior journalism and history major from Vicksburg, Miss., who serves as news editor for The Tech Talk. Email comments to ace007@latech.edu.

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