Drinking the Kool-Aid

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
May 26 2012

Never thought it would end this way

• I’m happy to not be lesson planning. The thought jerked me awake about a week ago as I was drifting off to sleep: “What if I never write another lesson plan again?”
• I’m glad to have loads of time to spend on myself—chew over possible career choices, take the Clifton StrengthsFinder (Positivity, Learner, Input, Achiever, Ideation), go to fitness classes at the Y, write a lot, read a lot, mentally pry open my future…
• I’m relieved this happened at the end of the year.
• I’m lucky TFA is on my side.
• I’m also lucky that while my termination was dealt to me, my principal basically told me he’d tell anyone who asked him how great my classroom was and how good a teacher I was. (really, dude?)
• I’m really excited about what I have lined up for my summer (two internships and twelve credits of summer classes!)…

But seeing my friends in other regions in graduation pictures with their happy, happy kids, or hearing stories of end-of-year celebrations at my school, or reading my-two-years-are-over posts on this site, or realizing that I’m never going to be able say my good-bye-and-good-lucks to my seniors is just WEIRD. I’ll be attending graduation, but only as an audience member—and my principal told my kids I wasn’t coming back before he even told me.

This is such a weird and unexpected conclusion to all this blood/sweat/tears/doubt/ triumph /anger/thing. The end of my two years just evaporated—I just evaporated—and it’s a bit of a struggle to not let this define the whole affair.

6 Responses

  1. Brian

    Keep your head up and your eyes/ears open. The house of cards is starting to tremble. You’re efforts, passion, and struggle are not in vain.

  2. Brian

    *your … that’s what I get for commenting from my phone…stupid autocorrect.

  3. Goes to show expectations aren’t always met. Doesn’t mean it didn’t turn out like this for a reason, or that the two years leading up to this weren’t worthwhile or for a purpose.

    With time, I think, you’ll have plenty of other defining moments.

  4. Tee


    I don’t know what happened that led to your dismissal, but I do know from reading your blog that you are highly capable of impacting a great number of students for the better. I know that I once commented on your blog with some questions regarding your decision to teach, but that was really only because you seemed to be continuing along the path out of obligation and a sense of duty, rather than a genuine love of teaching. That being said, whatever you choose to do, I am sure that you will do it well. If you truly do feel as though teaching is what you want to do, then don’t let TFA ruin that for you. TFA put you into high school math with very little training, when maybe you were meant for high school English or elementary school. Teaching takes a great deal of training, and I have a feeling that you would have been much, much more successful if you had begun teaching following a quality teaching preparation program. (NB – I’m also not trying to say that all ed grad programs are better than TFA. I don’t know what all ed grad programs are like.)

    In any event, I wish you the best of luck with whatever you do. I have a feeling that, somehow, you will make the world a better place. You have the brains and dedication, now you just need to find the job that will make the absolute best use of those two things.

    • Thank you!
      For the record, you were completely right about my motivations to keep teaching. And your comment was among the many factors that caused me to reconsider (I decided I wouldn’t be coming back next year before I learned they were going to have me resign).

  5. Ms. Math

    Maybe someday, the reasons that you were dismissed will make more sense to me, just like the reasons I was almost fired make more sense now after I learned a lot more. You WILL find your place in the world-you are a fighter!
    I know I sent this to you, but the post I randomly wrote before seeing all this here seems so relevant. http://mathlovergrowsup.teachforus.org/2012/06/03/on-emotions-constructivism-and-teaching-mathematics-meaningfully/

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