The Learning Curve

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Apr 25 2011

Trying to find a balance.

Since getting into TFA, my life has become anything but simple and easy. I barely had time to submit my commitment confirmation before I was called 8 times by 6 different people about being in the program, moving to New Orleans, and the greatness of the commitment I had just made. And then there were all the emails about deadlines – registering for tests, submitting documents for transitional funding, buying this, reserving that, etc. I feel like almost every day I log into TFAnet and find something else I have yet to do, with a deadline looming closely overhead.

I desperately want to find a balance before I leave for New Orleans. I am still packing up stuff so that I know what to give away or throw away. I am still registering for tests or buying things I’ll need for institute or beyond. I can’t imagine how I’d feel if I were going into TFA straight out of college, or had never stepped foot in a classroom. I already feel like I’m going to heave and I’m not necessarily a stranger to teaching. It’ll still be my first time to teach in my own classroom. It’ll be my first time to have a limited number of students on a roster, versus teaching 7 different classes a day to different faces in different places. I am thankful for the experiences that I’ve had teaching Life Skills and other curricula but I’m still scared to death… because it’s all so overwhelming.

There are NOT a lot of days between me and institute, or even me and the end of institute, but there seem like a hell of a lot of boundaries between now and then. Most of them are concerning money – with gas prices steadily rising, I can’t really tell you that I’m altogether confident that me and el vehĂ­culo will make it from here to New Orleans to Atlanta and back to New Orleans again. And then I have to make sure that I have enough professional clothing to not look like a bum by second week. And finding an apartment – AND FINDING A ROOMMATE – and paying for the uhaul or storage unit to get my stuff from Texas to Louisiana and housed there until I actually get the keys somewhere. Plus all the reading I still have to do and the bills I have to pay between now and then, despite being minus a paycheck between May and September. Maybe finding someone to sublet my current apartment so that  I don’t have to break my lease early with all that aforementioned money I don’t have. Taking the PRAXIS II having not taken the PRAXIS I (exempt)… or ANY test for about the last three years.

I want to find balance now because I can’t wait til Institute. I can’t wait til I move to NOLA and start teaching and everything swallows me up again. If I can’t get out from under now, it’s going to take a bulldozer and a pickax to get me out later. It’s a slippery slope and it’s incredibly steep, and I don’t have time to waste.

So for now I’m making an awful lot of to-do lists, pretty much eating the exact. same. thing. every day from now until the end of next month, and hoping for a miracle. Wish me luck.

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