learning to be ms frizzle

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Apr 17 2011

Unprepared

In an attempt to acuretly blog my journey toward becoming a TFA teacher I want to make sure every Sunday I take the time to reflect and write about my experience. The first word that comes to mind today is unprepared. As soon as my thesis was turned in, and I had time to think, the unprepared feeling washed over me. The transition from a university, where  I am one of the top students, to TFA, where everyone is an overachiever, is quite nerve racking. Not only is everyone an overachiever, but I assume we are all blissfully unprepared for the task ahead. Teachforus blogs and institute work here I come!

In two months time I will be starting institute, so for the next two months I want to prepare as much as possible. Everything I read confirms that TFA is unquestionably what I want to be doing for the next two years of my life. Yet the thought of being responsible for someone’s education in two months is terrifying. I feel that if I can just get student’s respect and attention, I can teach them, but is seems like something easier said then done. Getting student’s to invest in education, from where I’m sitting and what I experienced in school, is going to be more than challenging. And I’m scared that hours of lesson planning may not be enough, especially if students don’t even show up. I guess we’ll see! If you have any advice PLEASE let me know.

I am also worried that I won’t be able to get over my negative stereotypes. Not against the students, but against the ivy league CMs. I know that judging them by their background is just as bad as judging a poor performing student based on their background, yet I’m worried that I’m going to  need to work on that basis.

Another thing on my mind is where I am going to be teaching. I know I will be teaching science to either middle or high school in H2 Colorado Springs, but have no clue beyond that. It would be nice to know, but at least I have a guaranteed spot unlike many other Colorado CMs due to education funding uncertainty. Politics is a subject for another day though.

Finally, for graduation presents I am asking for teaching supplies. If you are/have been a teacher/CM please let me know any suggestions for institute and/or my classroom. Thanks!

Hopefully the next blog will have better flow rather than scattered thoughts. Less than two months until Denver Induction!!

6 Responses

  1. Ms. L

    Hi Ms. R,
    I’m joining the Colorado Corps myself! Just want to let you know there’s another non ivy-leaguer out there!

  2. Wess

    Hello! Two things:

    Thing One: Feeling unprepared already means you are way ahead of the game. It takes a lot of us a lot longer to clue in, but I think it’s probably the best thing you COULD be feeling at this point. Besides crazy-excited and inspired, of course!

    Thing Two: USE that feeling. Ask more questions than you think you should, from more people that you think is necessary. Read more than you think you need to, reflect more than you think you have time for… do whatever that unprepared feeling points you towards, and you’ll have a better chance at staying afloat once you get thrown in.

  3. Meg

    I’m going to buy you a gluestick and some paperclips for graduation. Also, I have a feeling you’re going to do great; you’re the best person I know for the job. The comment above me sounds like great advice!!

  4. Not all of us are Ivy-Leaguers. Seems like most of us aren’t :)

  5. Ms. R

    Hi everyone. Thank you for your comments! Ms. L – Hope to meet you soon. Wess – I really appreciate your advise and love your blog. Meg – That would be awesome and thanks for your good thoughts. About the ivy-league comment – I know most of us aren’t, but at the same time it sometimes feels like many are (and I guess I don’t just mean ivy-league, but any highly prestigious private university). Hopefully, that feeling will go away, and the unpreparedness will turn into prepared. Either way I’m pumped to start!

  6. G

    From my experience, the Ivy Leaguers in our corps (SA) are some of the most down-to-earth people I’ve met…we are all on the same boat, fighting the same fight…state school or Ivy League, the goal is the same. By the way, don’t worry too much about supplies for institute. You’ll get most of what you need from the SOM and the CMAs. Save your money for the school year. My school is good about giving us supplies, but I buy my own dry erase markers (because I am partial to Crayola’s). You’re going to be just fine…I promise!

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