Jersey Goes South

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Dec 05 2011

Things I need to work on in the next 6 months

I will officially leave for Induction in about 6 months.  I have to keep reminding myself that it is SIX WHOLE MONTHS away, and that is half a year and I need to stay in the real world until then.  I’ve had so many people tell me that they’re jealous of me because I know what I’m doing next year, but truth is it’s kind of a bad thing.  I was lucky enough to have a job offer for after graduation with a really great company, but I knew I wanted TFA so during the application process I still had an incentive to keep my grades up, do work, etc (although it was kind of a struggle).  Now that I’m in to TFA, though, I feel like all these classes are pointless.  I know that the chances of me needing to know the difference between a monopoly and a monosopoly next year are slim, but yet I still have to study and pass these exams.  It’s been adding a new level of procrastination that I have yet to see, but hopefully I can pull through and ace these finals…

Anyway, there are a few things that I need to work on in the next 6 months to get me ready for Institute and actual teaching.

1) Get used to a new sleep schedule.

I’ve always been a bit of a morning person, and I don’t have an issue waking up at 6:30 or 7 for work or to do homework.  But everything I’ve read on these blogs about Institute has stories of going to bed at 12 and waking up at 4 or 5.  I’m used to going to bed at 12…and sleeping til 7.  And that’s when I keep myself on a “real person” schedule.  When I get caught up in college stuff I’ll go to bed at 2 or 3 and sleep til 10.  So, obviously somthing I need to work on

2) Stop cursing so much.

I have a dirty mouth. I know it, I know it’s not cute, and I definitely know that I cannot slip up and curse in front of students, especially considering I have elementary school kids.  So I need to just get cursing out of my vocabulary, which will probably be a struggle since I am a Jersey girl and everyone knows we curse a lot, and I go to a huge state university and people here curse like it’s nothing.

3) Do as much as I can to prepare.

I’ve heard mixed reviews about Institute, ranging from “It was wonderful and taught me everything,” to “It sucked and didn’t prepare me at all.”  This, combined with the fact that I hate relying on others for information, means that I need to be doing a lottttt of my own research and reading.  I dropped $50 at B&N on Saturday on teacher books (including Savage Inequalities by Jonathon Kozol who I am in love with) and I’ve been on Google Scholar looking for research on TFA, teaching, education, etc.  I also am going to start observing in my mom’s school district in another week, and hopefully next semester I can find another school district to observe at too.

4) Slowwwwwwww down.

I may be a Jersey girl, but I’m much more on pace with a NYC lifestyle.  I think fast, talk fast, write fast, speak fast, and move fast.  I think walking slow is inefficient and a waste of time.  But I’ll be moving to rural NC and I KNOW I can’t keep this all up.   I need to make a serious effort to slow everything I do down so I fit in with the community as well as make it easier for my munchkins to follow me (and by munchkins I mean my babies/kiddies/students).

Anyway this has been a long post and I’m sure no one has read the whole thing but I needed to get all of this out and trust me, my friends do NOT want to hear about TFA/Institute/NC anymore than that have!  But now I must go call ETS because I can’t remember my password and I HAVE to log on and register for the Praxis.  And than go scour the online bookstores for a review book because, of course, the test I’m taking is brand new (just implemented last month) and I couldn’t find a single review book that even mentioned it in B&N this weekend.  So if you’ve made it to the end of this post and have any information about 5015 (Elementary School Instruction, Curriculum, and Practice or something like that) PLEASE let me know!!

10 Responses

  1. Lauren

    I’ll be teaching in Chicago next year, and feel the exact same way about everything that you said! Good luck!!

  2. Meg

    If you read nothing else before Institute make sure you read “Teach Like a Champion” by Doug Lemov. A lot of your Institute sessions are based on his stuff and its filled with great management tips.

  3. Kalie

    I’ll be teaching in Phoenix next year. It’s so great to hear from someone who has the same thoughts and worries that I do. Good luck!

    • amdipuh

      I’ll be teaching in SC next year! I’m glad to connect with other new corps members!

  4. Kurt (Community Manager)

    Congratulations! You post has been featured on the Teach For Us homepage.

    Also, it’s awesome to see 2012s already blogging even though Institute is 6 months away! I look forward to reading more.

    • Kurt (Community Manager)


  5. KCMO Chief

    Institute was wonderful and did not prepare me at all for my job. Your sleep schedule should be fine at institute. I have to average 7-9 hours of sleep a night, but I was able to go to bed everyday by 11:30p and my bus was the earliest to leave at the LA institute at 6:30, and I would eat breakfast at 6, and I felt fine!

    Good luck to your next six months!

  6. els

    Good luck! email me if you have any questions abou the process!

  7. Michelle

    Hey, I’m a 2011 corps member in ENC and also from NJ! I graduated from Rutgers in ’08 and worked for a couple of year before joining the corps. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns because I know exactly how you feel about preparing!

    • jersey

      Oh I love meeting other Rutgers grads! I’ll definitely be reaching out to you for advice and info about ENC!

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Jersey girl moving south for TFA

Eastern North Carolina
Elementary School
Elementary Education

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