Learning As Leadership

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Aug 04 2013

TFA is a Tiny Dot Behind Me

I can hardly believe this, but tomorrow I begin my fourth year of teaching. FOURTH YEAR. I really never dreamed I would be here.

It feels good to say I’ve made it this far, and only partly because of all the smug TFA nay-sayers who claim that TFA teachers use TFA to get ahead, or who say TFA teachers don’t care, or teach temporarily. I am a real teacher. I always was, but I feel even more so now.

The main reason it feels good to be going into my fourth year is because teaching kicks ass. Teaching is so much more fun now. I’m much more confident, love my job more, love my kids more, and have better balance in my life. I still have a LOT to learn, and sometimes shake my head in disbelief at how little TFA prepared me for the reality of teaching, but I’m nowhere near bored or burned out.

I’m so excited for this year. In some ways, I think TFA should be a three-year endeavor. I learned so much in my third year. Part of it was because I moved to a new school (my third school in three years) where I had more examples to observe of great teaching.

I’m really excited to be staying at this school for my fourth year. Switching schools is hard. It’s like starting over again completely. It’s going to be nice to have some consistency and to not have to waste energy focusing on learning to navigate a new culture.

I’m so excited to meet my students I can hardly stand it. I’ve been ready for summer to be over for weeks. Isn’t that amazing??? How many people could say they would be depressed if they had two months off work? How many people would be dying to go back to work after a break? And how many teachers could even say they can’t wait for their week of PD to be over so they can get their kids??? I am truly, truly blessed. I’ve found a school that is a good fit for me, I’ve found a grade I love to teach, and I’ve been given the opportunity to continue to strive to be the teacher my kids deserve.

One Response

  1. Hooray! I am so impressed, and much of me is envious of your feelings. I’m slowly coming back into a deep desire to be with all my new kids– hard not to feel foggy with anxiety for a different school structure (from departmentalized to team teaching).
    How did you manage three schools in three years! So glad for you to experience how lovely it can be to stay put for a while…

    Congrats & good luck, so glad to have you there (and here!)

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a Teach For America teacher’s blog

St. Louis
Middle School

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