Searching in the Springs

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
May 21 2011

Two. Years.

So here is a run-down of different stages in my TFA experience:

Early May 2009: I have been wait-listed for 3 months and am ready to just accept that I will not have a position. So disappointed…

Late May 2009: I received an email informing me of my placement in Denver, Colorado. I almost pee my pants and cause my boyfriend to do the same by jumping up and down and screaming. I can’t believe it! I got into TeachForAmerica!

June 1, 2009: I really am not sure about this. How will it all work out. How could they jerk me around for so long? I only had a week to prepare. Am I making the right decision? Can I still get money back if I cancel my plane ticket? Will I regret it?

June 2, 2009: [at the airport] Me: I don’t know if I can do this. I am not it is the right decision. Why don’t we just go back home?” Anderson: You are getting on that plane if I have to drag you myself. You would be crazy not to go. I love you and you will have a great time. Now GO!”

June 5 @ 9 am: I have decided not to go to the interview for the school district in the Springs. I am not ok with it so I am not going. I have informed Will.

June 5 @ 9:50 am: [Running out of the meeting] “Will, can you get me to that interview? You have to get me there. It starts in 10 minutes!”

June 5 @ 9:59 am: I am so sweaty and am trying to find some markers and paper for my interview. We have to teach a 15 minute lesson that I did not prepare for at all.

June 5 @ 10 am: “Karla Chappel?”

June 5 @ 10:35 am: “We would like to offer you a couple jobs and you can tell us what you would like to do. We would like to offer you a position as a 1st, 3rd, or 4th grade teacher.” “Umm…” “Well, what would you do with a class called Globalization and Economics?” The rest is history…

Late June: [on the phone with Anderson, crying] I hate this place. I want to come home. I don’t want to lesson plan anymore. I don’t want to scaffold. I just want to sleep in my own bed and pretend that everything is normal.

Late July: I start my job as a middle school teacher.

August 2010: They said it was only a 30 minute drive to Denver! Seriously? An hour and a half in traffic and then I am considered “late” on top of that? Oh, hex naw!

Every “even” day until May 2010: I LOVE teaching! This is SO great. I could do this forever!

Every “odd” day until May 2010: I HATE teaching! Why did I decide to do this? I just want to bury my head and cry forever!

May 2010: Congratulations! You have finished your first year and are now an considered an expert in teaching in the world of Teach For America!

Summer 2010: Spent preparing for the next year. How can I continuously improve my effectiveness?

August 2010: “Now that you guys are almost done with your second year, let’s discuss what you will be doing after the Corp. Policy, Leadership, or Advocacy?” Ummm…almost done with the second year? Does anyone else see a problem with this?

September-December 2010: This is the best semester of my life. I could teach forever!

January 2011: I hate this district. How is this best for kids? Seriously!?!

January-April: It’s all about the sports, baby!

April 2011: Children are not to be used as guinea pigs for TFA or the leadership of the district in order for them to gain political clout.

May 2011: As a result of massive turnover because of the district: “Everyone that is my support system is leaving! How will this work for next year?” A fellow teacher: “Honey, it is now your turn to be the support system for a new teacher coming in.”

Late May 2011: Who the *$#@ thinks that I am qualified to be leading/supporting new teachers? I am still questioning if I should be allowed to be teaching kids….Well, apparently TFA thinks I would be great at supporting new teachers if their multiple emails a day asking me to do so is any inclination!

The path that I have been on for the last two years has ended and I now need to move on. However, I will not be alone as I am joined by 20,000+ strong and all of the wonderful, non-TFA teachers that I look up to on a daily basis. It has been a wonderful experience that I am truly thankful that I was able to have.

I am now an Alum! Can you believe it?

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    The lessons my students have taught me…

    Middle School
    Social Studies

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