Pushing Forward

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Nov 21 2011

Pondering the future

I should be writing my women’s studies senior thesis right now. Tomorrow at 10:45AM, my professor will probably expect me to have at least something written down other than my name and thesis topic (China’s one child policy and its consequences on the female population in today’s society).

Rather than doing what is really important at this given moment, I am, instead, pondering my future.

This weekend, our college’s mock trial team traveled to University of Iowa for a tournament. One of my judges during the round is a current TFA CM in St. Louis. Naturally, I stayed after the round to speak with him. He was very excited to share his experiences with me. He told me that he has some of the best students in the world. They are the reason why he rolls out of bed in the morning. They are the reasons why he comes to the school during days when he has thought about quitting. He is currently teaching at three different high schools and the situation is most definitely not ideal. He didn’t get his placement until a week or two after the school year began, and his final placement was an entirely different subject placement than what he was told and tested for during the “qualifying” process.

During my application process, I made sure to speak with at least a dozen or so TFA alums/current CMs to get the most well-rounded and accurate picture possible of my potential future, which is why his story does not scare nor surprise me. Instead, I get anxious. Not anxious about the challenges that are going to come my way, but about staying positive during these trying times. I am not afraid of hard work. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that I am not afraid about my ability to focus on the bigger picture rather than the small things that build up and could potentially one day snowball out of control.

When an individual encounters too many of those hard days, how does one remain positive and remain absolutely certain that they are actually impacting change? What if I fail my students by not delivering my initial promises of reaching our classroom goals? Joining this movement will be my most challenging task to date. I will try my hardest to make sure that my worst fears will not become a reality… but does that really mean that it won’t?

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