This brief post is meant to catch everyone up. If there are others you think should read this feel free to direct others here.
What is Teach For America?
I have been apart of Teach For America for a little over a month, so I have the inside scoop. The vision of TFA is: One day all children in this nation will have the opportunity to attain an excellent education. To understand the significance of the vision one must come to terms with the reality that several children face in our country. In short, many children – just because of their skin color, neighborhood, or parents’ socioeconomic standing – do not have access to the same quality of public education that their peers who have a different skin color, live in nicer neighborhoods, and whose parents have a higher income.
As you can imagine, consequences of this problem can be and are devastating for children and for our country. Because of this problem, each year TFA enlists people who will go into these neighborhoods as teachers working toward the vision of “One Day.” It is a challenging two-year commitment requiring all teachers to believe the best about students and their communities, and give their best to students.
Where do I come in?
During my third year of graduate school I started thinking about what came next. And I looked into TFA because I heard so much about it as an undergrad. I ultimately got distracted and I never finished my application. During the fourth year of my undergrad a door to the PhD program I was interested in closed and the next day TFA sent an impersonal email requesting that I complete my application. I did some research wondering if this organization would be a good fit. In this organization I saw my disparate passions come together—the necessity of a good education and access to it. I applied. I phone interviewed. I did a daylong interview. I was inducted. And I just completed a month of training in Atlanta.
What am I doing?
The specifics are rolling in slowly but surely! I am a Special Education teacher. I will be teaching and supporting and advocating for ninth grade students with autism in Florence, South Carolina at Wilson High School. A lot of pieces still need to come together. Right now I am recovering from training (it ended yesterday) and trying to figure out many more details before I relocate to Florence for at least two years.