2015 PFIG Recipient Eunice Kim

Career Administrator

Journal Entry #1

After hours of reading official documents, watching Microsoft Excel tutorials, and deciphering massive spreadsheets of data on teacher training, I completed my first week of working at the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) main office. I work in the Office of Teaching and Learning, and my project is focused on teacher training and development.

A major part of the appeal of working in the field of education is that one could really make a difference in the lives of children. That appeal was definitely lacking this week. Working in an office takes you one step away from the ground, where the actual impact is happening. I felt stuck and isolated at my cubicle, while many of my fellow interns were able to visit schools.

In this same time, I have had great discussions on equity in education, the oppressive forces that exist in the workplace, and how to empower the most marginalized. In a lot of ways, the experience here has been like my first year at the University of Virginia. I have met so many people with so many ideas and experiences so different from mine, and the most important and enlightening conversations happen outside of the required work/readings.

The work we do is important. DCPS is dedicated to eliminating the achievement gap. However, this goal cannot be achieved for DC and the rest of the country without first understanding what this gap means, where it comes from, and why it is so resilient. The answer to these vast inequalities are complicated, and elusive. But it is empowering and, quite frankly, a relief to know that so many other people are dedicating their lives to social justice.