A Very Light Welcome II: Common Bonds

Two years ago, we welcomed you to The Unbearable Lightness of Teaching. The ULOT spawned from four roommates who had all just endured their first year as Teach for America Corp members in New York City. As we reflected on our experiences during our first year we couldn’t help but laugh at the things that happened in our classrooms, and couldn’t help but marvel at how this experience changed us in many ways while confirming many other beliefs. As such, we felt the desire to share our thoughts and reflections in written form, and attempt to create a place where people could visit to laugh, gain some insight into our world, and share their own thoughts. If you are new to the ULOT, I suggest you read the first edition of “A Very Light Welcome” found here.

In the spring of 2009 as our two year commitment ended so did the ULOT. The group of friends that were responsible for the blog went their separate ways. While many remained in the teaching profession, others went on to pursue other interests. What remains in all of us though is the common bond of an experience so powerful that it will forever shape our views regardless of what profession we enter. While the writing of the ULOT faded, the spirit lived on. With that in mind, I have decided to revive the ULOT.

Much has transpired since the last posts were made in 2009. Personally, I am still teaching at the same high school in the Bronx that I began at four years ago. During the past two summers, I had the distinct privilege of serving as Corp Member Advisor for Teach for America at institute, an experience that has deeply impacted me on more levels than I could ever have anticipated. Tomorrow, I begin my fourth year of teaching, and I am looking forward to all that this experience will entail.

As of right now, I can make no promises as to how many articles will be posted each week or even how many authors will write for the ULOT.  However I can tell you that the daily aims are back and here to stay and former authors will be writing pieces including their perspectives from time to time. What will never change is the spirit of this blog. As Eugene Lee wrote in “A Very Light Welcome”, “This blog is intended to reflect this journey through the eyes of the teachers who experience it daily [and those who have since moved on to other endeavors]. These voices reflect the good and the bad, the frustration and the elation of teaching in underfunded schools. But they also reflect our lives outside of the classroom which often percolate into our teaching lives, whether intentional or not.”

So once again, this blog will be an unfiltered space for reflection that will likely raise more questions than it answers.  As the year goes on I hope that you enjoy visiting and reading our thoughts. And I also extend the invitation to anyone who desires to feel free and contribute in whatever way you wish. Comment, write one post, or write a regular piece, all are more than welcome regardless of your viewpoint.

So once more, I welcome you to the Unbearable Lightness of Teaching. Like a fine wine we’ve matured and aged nicely, but we’re still made of the same stuff.

John Harlow


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