Drinking the Kool-Aid

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
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May 10 2012


I guess I should feel stressed and anxious. But instead of gnawing on obsessions and replaying scenarios, my mind is skipping ahead, buzzing with ideas and opportunities for next year.

Just as I was a little more than two years ago, I’m asking “What should I do next year? What kind of splash should I make?” Only this time, these questions are so much less difficult and scary to tackle. Now, instead of feeling all this pressure to make the perfectest most world-changing life-and-self-defining choice, I feel a great openness to pursue anything and everything that will give me the space I need to Do My Thing.

My yearning for direction and purpose is satisfied, for the time being, with the sense that now, after these two years of constraints and roadblocks and submission, I’ll know enough to ensure I’m “driving in my lane.” I can see myself making waves in a huge variety of positions: as an in-home tutor with a teen parenting program? An adjunct faculty member at a community college? An intern with a counseling organization? An adviser for aspiring college freshmen? A volunteer coordinator with the children’s shelter? A program facilitator for Girls, Inc.? A program director for City Year? A position with a voter-education organization?

Any and all of these have a feeling of forward-ness, a sense of space—room to go above and beyond in my own innovative ways. When I picture myself in these positions, I see myself using the strengths I was most proud of two years ago—strengths that I’ve had to really stretch and dig deep to uncover as a teacher.

I will always be an alum of TFA San Antonio. I’ll probably always be proud of that. But these two years have done something to my brain that I need to adjust. Right and wrong are not so clear anymore. And I’m not so smart anymore. Or capable. I have less agency and feel less empowered than I did when I came in. I can’t wait to adjust what needs to be adjusted and get back to churning out good, solid work for a cause.

7 Responses

  1. stephanie

    I have been following your blog since a friend of mine joined tfa, and began teaching when you did. From the beginning, when I expected you to bail out any post, through the successes you strove for. I am not sure what happened, but I want to wish you the best.

    • Wess

      I have to say, strange as it may sound, that second to my PD my first year, my blog and blog readers are what got me through.

      So, thanks! I’m hoping to post more about the whole snafu once everything’s blown over.

  2. Brian

    You’ve been trapped this entire time, in my opinion. Your talents have been contained and it has affected your spirit and effectiveness. I know once you are free to Do Your Thing, you are going to be a tremendous asset to anyone you work for. I wish I could hire you somewhere! :) Keep us updated!

    • Wess

      Thanks, Brian! Your support means a lot.

  3. GIRL!


  4. Just wait until you get back out in the world. It’s the most amazing feeling. You’ll find that you’re suddenly good at your job again, you make a difference again, people look at you respectfully again. It’s up from here. <3

  5. Ms. Math

    i like hannah’s post! that is what grad school feels like to me.

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May 2012
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