The Official Website of Kendel Christensen

I got aboard a red-eye flight from Salt Lake City at 11:35pm, arrived at JFK airport at 5:35am, and my life will never be the same again. It has officially happened. I am a part of Teach for America, a movement dedicated to the goal that one day, all children will have an excellent education.  It was quite the trek to bring my 3 bags and backpack from JFK to our induction campus at Temple University in Philadelphia… though I saved about $150 by flying into JFK rather than Philly directly… I wondered how much it was really worth every time I had to carry those bags up a flight of stairs… but after a few subways, an Amway track, and a few trolly stops, I arrived safe and sound and everything intact (well, except the things I had to leave behind because I had to meet the 50-pound weight limit for my flight).

               I didn’t really sleep at all on the flight, so I arrived at Temple quite exhausted. I unpacked and took a quick nap before our one activity of the day, our official welcome dinner.  It was quite good, a lot of pep talks.  One speaker spoke of how we all need to step it up—the age of living for ourselves is over.  And, in order for great students to be made, we also need to remember to not just ‘step up’ our teaching, we need to also remember to ‘step aside’ as great students aren’t made by teachers, rather, they find it in themselves. Another speaker talked about our long-term vision and how Americans have a mindset that the achievement gap is ‘just the way things are’ but that, in the words of Martin Luther King, “The long arc of history bends toward justice.” And the needed changes start with us–we need to be the change we seek in others..


My teacher ‘team’ at the welcome dinner. The entire room was made up of quite the diverse group. It was a sight to behold!

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