Drinking the Kool-Aid

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

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Apr 02 2013

Watching Myself Quit

Somehow, I made it through two years of teaching without quitting. But I think I just watched a version of my past self actually do it. By that I mean I identified strongly with the difficulties one of our after-school employees was having, but couldn’t keep her from quitting. (Not sure if I wanted to?)…

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Jan 21 2013

People Like Me Exist

My initial reaction to everything TFA was “it’s too good to be true.” Throughout the application process, induction, and institute, I remember consciously keeping an eye out for weaknesses in this organization that seemed to be such a perfect example of how to do a nonprofit right. Part of my incredulity came from the fact…

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I’ve been wanting to write about TFA and mental health for a while, and have recently had the opportunity to voice the somewhat muddled feelings I have on the subject. I know many of you are starry-eyed and brand new, so this may be inappropriate so soon after you’ve clicked “accept”– but if that’s the…

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Days like this make me wonder whether there’s not something else I could be doing that would be more effective and less like martyrdom. Wouldn’t I have a bigger, better effect on kids if I were a functional human being? Can’t we, as Teach For America, do anything else to make the first year easier?…

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Oct 12 2010

Who I Am

Here’s the thing: I don’t want regrets. A year ago, the hardest thing I’d ever done was a summer rowing training program with LUC in Seattle. Somehow, I got in with the elites, and I had a coach who was pushing me harder than I ever thought someone outside my own head could push. I was…

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Oct 05 2010

Just for the record

I hate this. I say so plainly, literally, with the least emotion possible and with no reaction-gauging or attention-seeking. Simply put, there are some things that I detest, and one of those things is my current existence. I don’t want to do what I’m doing. I don’t want to teach high school, I don’t want to…

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Sep 26 2010

This is my life.

Hello. This is my life. Firstly, this is just two years of my life. I will continue to exist and continue to be my passionate, critical-thinking, problem-solving, proactive, goofy self after I’m done teaching, whether or not I make significant gains. Secondly, this is NOT just two years of my life!! This achievement gap is…

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Sep 18 2010

Concave Up

The night before the first day of school, I would describe myself as both insanely nervous and foolishly confident. I was unprepared, and I knew it. And I don’t just mean “unprepared” in the usual Institute-was-so-different-I-had-no-idea-it-was-this-hard kind of way. There was a little additional I-never-wrote-a-management-plan-or-a-unit-plan-or-even-a-first-day-lesson-plan (until Sunday night) going on, as well (for which I have…

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“The minute you think of giving up, think of the reason you held on so long.” - John Maxwell


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