I love reading blogs of incoming Corp Members. It gives me such perspective and reminds me of how it was not so long ago that I was drinking the Kool-Aid too.
I had my end of year meeting today with my Program Director. She asked me what advice I would give to incoming Corp Members. Below is what I said:
1. Stay balanced. Nothing is ever as good or as awful as it seems and in two weeks, you won’t remember it.
2. Be open-minded and never assume anything about your students, your co-workers, Teach For America, or yourself.
In celebration of finishing my two years, she also handed me a framed letter for my commitment to ensuring that all kids have the opportunity to attain an excellent education. However, by far my favorite present was my picture frame. In it is a picture of me, sitting on a desk like I usually do when teaching. I am smiling and wearing some coaching gear and my students are smiling also. By coincidence, one of my 8th graders that I worry about the most and that I would consider one of my favorite students (yes, I know that we aren’t supposed to have favorites) is right in front of me. I will treasure that picture because it embodies everything that I am as a teacher and now as a person. It made me cry when I saw it.
I can’t believe that I made it to this point. It just seems like yesterday that I got the email saying that I was accepted. All of those late nights, early mornings, and shed tears were bottled up into two measly years.
For all of you incoming Corp Members: Cherish every moment. It goes by way too fast…