Today was my first challenging day (of many to follow I am sure) on my TFA journey. I was full of mixed emotions all day, and at times, I struggled with what I was bringing to the table when I was surrounded with so many talented young people. This post will investigate what I have learned so far and outline my reasons for joining this powerful movement (in case there are desperate days in the future when I forget my purpose).
Reason #1: All children should be ensured an excellent education– We live in the home of the brave and free, but our educational system fails millions of children each year. Somehow, someway, we need to find a solution to this huge problem, and I believe that Teach for America is a step in the right direction. I grew up in a middle class neighborhood in an average to above average school district. I attended a small liberal arts college (less than 1600 students) in a small town in PA. My experience with the educational gap and diversity on a first hand basis are limited, but I certainly feel that I am accepting of others. No matter what my experience level is with teaching students in poverty, I want to be the best teacher for them. I want every student in my future class to succeed and learn to be a life long learner. I will not settle for mere average math students. With urgency, humility, and high expectations, I will lead my students on a path towards the excellent education which every student in this great nation deserves.
Reason #2- My passion to serve others- In 2008, I traveled to New Orleans, and I first discovered how wonderful it felt to serve others. Due to my limited experience with diversity, I never truly understood how privileged I am as an individual. I thought that I was an average American, but through much exploration today, I discovered how privileged I actually am. Privilege is so much more than the salary that you take home at the end of every year. It is about the lifestyle you can live, the day to day stress, and the supports with which you have to work. Thanks to my new exploration of self which I am still building on, I realize how important it is for me to share my resporses with those less fortunate. I am ready to set out and serve the community of Charlotte in more ways than one. I will not merely teach, I will invest in my students and their families in order to serve the community as a whole.
Reason #3- A Personal Journey- Although this was definitely not the main reason for my joining, it is a secondary reason. Through this experience, I am about to strengthen not only my students, but myself as an individual. At the end of my two year contract, I will leave the corps as a better teacher, a better leader, a better citizen, a better friend, and a better neighbor to my future community. I am not sure where I will end up after my journey with TFA, but I am certain that I will be a fervent fighter to end educational injustice for my entire lifetime. I will leave the corps with a deep understanding of the educational system and go on to accomplish great things as a teacher, administrator, or beyond. What lies ahead is limitless, so I must allow the challenge of this journey to challenge my thinking in order to strengthen my personal journey and the lives of my students.