Being Ms. B

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jun 17 2011

In which she reflects relentlessly

By around Thursday night, it occurred to me that I should have been blogging this week.  The fact that it took until Thursday for me to realize this should tell you something about STL Induction.

It can’t be said enough that our regional team worked hard (some might even say relentlessly) to get us prepared for Institute.  They instructed, motivated, encouraged, advised, and pretty much any active verb you can think of.   They also kept us moving (session, reflection, transition, session, reflection, transition, mingle, mingle, mingle, transition, reflection, sleep, eat, session, reflection, transition)…

Ironically, even though our daily reflections sucked all of the will to blog right out of me, my head is still spinning with the enormity of the past five days – not to mention the next 2 years to come.  So in short, here is the Induction run down -

Where? Wash U.  And if you don’t think it was weird living on the 40 and eating in the DUC only three weeks after graduation, you’ve got another thing coming.

Interviews? One, at a school district in north county.  The school is a turnover, meaning that they’ve been taken over by the state and are basically restructuring everything from the ground up.  The principal seems great and his plans are ambitious and inspiring, but he was also the third of three principals last year.  In case any of you were wondering when the whole achievement gap thing started to hit me, it would be about then.

Revelations? Two TFA alumnae in middle school ELA came to talk to Team Middle about the trials and tribulations of our future jobs.  Part of their presentation was having us arrange a series of 6 books in grade level order, ranging from Pre-K to 8th grade.  The big reveal at the end of this was that they had used all of the texts we had in front of us to provide their students with grade level reading material.  I’ve been seeing and hearing the statistics for years, but it wasn’t until I literally held the 10 page Pre-K picture book in my hand and thought about the sixth grader that needed it that the enormity of the task ahead really punched me in the face.

Social skills? Dear Lord did we mingle.  First, the good news.  Remember the first few days of your freshman year of college?  You found a minimum of two to three other people, grabbed hold tightly, and declared yourself friends forever, mostly to the exclusion of others.  TFA camp isn’t like that – people stayed really open to continuing to meet new people for the entire week.  The 2011′s are incredible, inspiring, fantastic people – and a lot of me hopes that I can live up.  The bad news?  I naturally ended up doing my hermit act for a couple of our evening non-required social outings.  But honestly, that hour of being able to watch hulu mindlessly before sleep was probably more rejuvenating to me than reliving my college days at Blue Hill.  (I might have done some reflecting too.  Shhh…)

Prospects? Sunny, mostly.  Institute is terrifying, naturally, but I’m feeling cautiously optimistic in my naivete.  Two more days in my adopted homeland, and then off to the north for 5 weeks of the real boot camp.

One Response

  1. Aunt Jerri

    Will look forward to more blogs from you.

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