Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jul 09 2009

Why “Waxwing”

As I have shared before on this blog, I like birds, and I feel like they are an appropriate metaphor for what I am doing here.

It doesn’t have to do with the fact that the very first time I ever saw a wild Bald Eagle was as I was walking across the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Washington, DC on my way to my final TFA interview, because that is way too cliche to be true (even though it is true). It isn’t about being a wise old owl, either.

A waxwing is a small, dull-colored bird that doesn’t make a lot of noise and generally blends in with the trees it inhabits. It has taken quite an irregular path in life, though. Despite living only in the northern hemisphere, it has chosen to eat only fruits, which is admittetly difficult during the cold winters. They always travel in huge flocks to support each other, and if they can only find a small food source, like one tree branch with just a few berries at the end, they will line up and pass the fruit down the line to make sure that all in the flock get a share. Not many people know about them, though, despite their amazing social tendencies.

To summarize: I want to pass on the fruit of knowledge to make sure that everybody gets their fair share. And I must do so by flying under the radar. I have no flashy plumage to show or pretty song to sing, but I have the power to do one thing that is way more important than either of those, and I’m going to try my damnedest to make sure my flock weathers the winter.


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    a Teach For America teacher’s blog

    Middle School

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