Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jan 18 2011

1/2 a year left for my committment!

I’ve been seriously lagging it with this blog. I made a New Year’s resolution that I would try to document my (most possibly) last year teaching for TFA.

After a year and 1/2, I’ve really contemplated on the possibilities for my future self. Med school now has become more serious, and I’m definitely leaning a lot more towards being a doctor than a secondary educator.

As much as I love being an educator, being an educator in a location where students aren’t at grade level is depressing. I seriously don’t know how urban educators do this. It seems that the teaching profession would become jaded if year after year, the result were as depressing as in my experience.

It’s not so much that my students are a menace to society, but there is a serious lack of social skills and academic skills. I highly doubt that my students sense the urgency of having a good education. Instead, most of my students brush off being successful in the academic world, and instead are interested in just passing.

Maybe it’s just the world today. I would like to say that technology is one thing to blame. It’s unacceptable for students to not know the difference between their, there, and they’re, or to even have students not be able to read at a 9th grade level when they reach the 9th grade. But that’s life. As much as I would like to imagine a world where students are achieving tremendously, and everyone wants to learn, it’s just unrealistic. Even in my experience, intrinsic motivation was the only reason why I was able to get to college. Although there was parental support, by the time I reached middle school and high school, I was pretty much self-motivated and looked forward to college. Then again, also wasn’t a struggling high schooler who couldn’t write 5 paragraph essays without fragments.

These next few months really will be a reflection time for me to decide if education really is the field that I want to stay in. Each day I continue teaching, I feel less and less inspired to teach, and the only thing that gets me through the week is my interaction with the AP Bio class. I believe my AP kids are the only glimpses of inspiration for me, and I really don’t know what I’d do without them. I’ve never seen a group of kids try so hard, become so motivated, and reach a level of maturity unknown to 10th graders. There’s no doubt that they’ll get into college, but I want them all to get into great universities because they have the potential to do such great in the world.

The others, I kinda wanna just say f’em all…. and as depressing as it is for me to say that, it’s true. I remember what a parent at a Cal Football game once said to me. “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and getting the same results.” That’s what my 2nd year feels like, and as much as I’d like to beg to differ, I just can’t.

4 Responses

  1. Jon

    Hello. I’m a potential TFA that will attempt to pursue medical school after TFA too. Any words of wisdom?

    • kungm

      be sure that you take your mcat before! it’s really tough studying while teaching.

  2. CLB

    yes, don’t wait. take it while the material is fresh in your brain.

  3. Jon

    Taking it this may. Thanks for your input. Study study studying.

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a Teach For America teacher’s blog: kiyah-ing my way in education

Los Angeles
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