For the last two years, it seems, I’ve been unable to think clearly unless I’m typing. If you don’t want to read my disillusioned processing, please don’t.
Actually, sometimes I wonder if I shouldn’t just make my blog posts private until I figure these last two years out. (And stop talking, too, ha.) Everything I write is more controversial than I mean it, everything I say is angrier than intended and aimed at the wrong people. I don’t know anything about anything, and writing and speaking as if I do backfires against the real work people are doing while I type my brains out. But then I think about keeping quiet versus sharing my story, ugliness and confusion and all, and I start to think I have an obligation to at least put my version out there. To stop worrying about audiences and images and what comes off how, and just be honest.
Today, I’m tired of this. I want to walk into the offices of anyone and everyone in this field and yell the truth at them, tell them in no uncertain terms exactly what’s right and why. But of course I have no idea what’s right. And yelling at people who mean well just makes things worse anyway.
For the first time, I’m imagining what it’d be like to run away from this problem, somehow pretending these two years never happened. I’m in this silly master’s program, writing crappy papers and getting As and compliments, but I have absolutely. No. Idea. How or where or if I’ll ever fit into this education mess.
I even, serendipitously, got a call yesterday from some industrial supply firm. A lady wanted to know whether I’d be interested in managing people who sell junk to corporations. They think highly of TFA, she said.
I scoff, but isn’t that just the meat of it? Selling things is tidy. Helping people isn’t. Of course it’s messy—and with a guiding imperative like “work my ass off to make the world better,” maybe I’m just never going to be able to escape Messy.
I guess the calmed-down, moderated truth is that I really am trying to separate myself psychologically from Teach For America. Not necessarily permanently, and not because I don’t believe every single person working for TFA is smart and well-intentioned, but because I just want to be more balanced. I did my two years, and I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who benefitted. Until I can believe that this isn’t the norm, prove that kids and the country are conclusively better off because of TFA, I’d rather be an independent party than some unwitting TFA spokesperson.
… Maybe, rationalizing aside, I’m just another one of these bloggers with a chip on their shoulder because I wasn’t the teacher I wanted to be and now I’m taking it out on TFA.