Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
May 28 2010

“To be successful, the first thing to do is fall in love with your work.”- Sister Mary Lauretta

I am 17 days away from starting a new journey; a new city, a new job, new friends…

This past Monday I had an interview in Indianapolis at a Charter School, had dinner with an 08 CM, and looked at apartments. The interview consisted of me (absolutely no teaching background) teaching a 30 minute lesson to some of the rowdiest 8th graders I’ve ever met. I never knew I had a teacher voice until I had to compete with 15 chatty 14 year olds, with the exception of one young man asleep on his desk. I woke up the sleeping kid and got the class under control, and I think I might have actually taught them something. I haven’t heard back from the Charter School whether I was hired or not, but I felt like I did a pretty good job considering my complete lack of experience with teaching.

Before my interview, I was waiting outside the office for my interviewer since I was a good 30 minutes early. There was this adorable little girl (no older than 6) sitting a few seats down from me, and she looked SO sad. An older boy (maybe 4th or 5th grade) walked by and asked the little girl what was wrong, and she responded “I kicked my teacher. I’m in trouble.” Nothing like hearing that out of an adorable 6 year old’s mouth for a dose of reality. If I’m hired, I’ll be teaching 7/8th grade math. 7/8th graders kick a lot harder than a 6 year old. Yiiiikes. Hopefully that never happens to me!

I very stupidly today decided I’d use Indianapolis’s Crime View Community program to look up the area around the school where I interviewed. BAD DECISION. Shots fired, commercial sex, child molest, rape, domestic violence, abandoned child, strong arm robbery, burglary… and the list goes on. “Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore”…. I felt pretty unsafe driving to the school, but felt perfectly safe in the school (had to be buzzed into the school). I literally almost threw up when I was reading through the crime reports. It was just a small look inside what many of my future students experience everyday.

I’m still trying to find some place safe and affordable to live. And trying to decide whether I want to live alone or with another CM. Decisions, Decisions…

I’m going to be spending the next two weeks studying for the Praxis II Math Content (since I didn’t pass the first time). I was SO disappointed that I didn’t pass, but I also have been trying to remind myself I wasn’t a math major in college and I haven’t seen any of this in quite a few years. I just got off the phone with a professor at EIU who is going to tutor me ($25/hr… I’m going broke with all the incidental costs associated with TFA) a few days and hopefully help me enough to pass. *Fingers Crossed* I’m taking the middle school math Praxis also that same day, so hopefully if all as fails I’ll at least pass that test.

I don’t think I’ve ever experience so many emotions all at once with the days leading up to Induction/Institute/Orientation… Scary, Excited, Nervous, Anxious, Overwhelmed, Intimidated. I think my excitement is making all the other feelings worth experiencing.

One Response

  1. Sejin

    I was just accepted to the 2011 Corps in Indy and I was so excited to find Teach For Us and our very our Indy blog page. I was struck by your posts on Praxis exams as I am also placed in secondary math and I need to pass the Praxis 2 Math Content. It looks a little tough considering that I’m no math major… do you have any advice for me? Books that helped? Thanks so much! Hope that things are going well.

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A first year math teacher in Indianapolis

Middle School

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