I’m not sure what the next two years will bring, but I couldn’t be more excited to find out. I love the idea of living in Alabama, getting a true southern twang, teaching history to high schoolers, and making a difference in someone’s life.
If I change the trajectory of even a single person’s life over the course of the next two years, I will consider my time as a teacher a huge success.
I don’t feel like I am joining Teach For America under any illusions of grandeur. I know my classroom wont be as sterile as in Freedom Writers or Precious. I don’t anticipate any moving speeches or standing ovations (though I do anticipate lots of tears — hopefully at least some being of the proud variety). And I know that I will be heading into the hardest two years I have yet to experience (though at the moment I have a difficult time imagining things more stressful/challenging than they are right now).
I am actually rather proud of myself for walking into this with my eyes open. No romanticizing things — expect maybe living in the bayou. I’m definitely shamelessly guilt of romanticizing that one. I already envision long solitary walks with my trusty camera, taking gazillions of pictures and filling my head with tons of stories set in the Deep South. I literally can’t wait to live there.
But I am thankfully empty of rosy-hued imaginings of teaching. Probably because there aren’t enough details to wrap my imagination around. I don’t know the specific grade level (could be anything from 7th to 12th), nor do I know the specific topics (could be anything from the beginning of time to the present day).
And I think lacking in grand visions of a clean-cut, perfectly attentive, adoring classroom will probably do me the most good. Let’s just hope I can keep it that way.