Back to TFA

Ramble Time. 

As of today, I have been a teacher for…eight months and change. Now I only have 18 teaching days left. 

Today was the National Honors Society Induction. Remember that? It was that group in high school that you and your friends were initiated into? You got a pin? A rope for graduation? 

Yeah, it’s a vague memory for me too. But I when I sat at the induction today, I realized how important it actually is to my students. I say my students because, even though I’ve never really had any of them in my class (I teach Freshman, they were all Juniors), they all still seem to know my name as, Ms. S, the biology teacher and the holder of the bathroom keys! 

Anyways, the ceremony was after school and the students came dressed up. I mean the girls were in fancy dresses with nice heels, their hair done, and make-up on. The boys were in nice shirts, and some even in suits. It was the suits that got me. They were either too big, or too small. There was not a boy who was wearing a jacket that fit him. There was one student, whom I actually taught before, who was wearing his father’s suit. It was old, and it was huge, but he was wearing it. 

It broke my heart just a little. I don’t know why. I mean, I guess it was the juxtaposition of the importance of the event with how little my students actually have.

Do their wealthier peers care about NHS? Does it mean anything? I don’t know, I can honestly tell you it didn’t mean much to me. But seeing the students look super professional, their parents running around taking pictures with their phones, most with tears in their eyes. Well, it got to me. These 27 inductees were the top of the top at my school, and the 14 current members were among 60 graduating students at my school. 

They need help, the community does. I mean, I have known this all along, all year, you see it every day. But I guess this time it was different for me, because it hit really hard. 

I know that a lot of people say they are going to dedicate their lives to helping the under served, but dammit, I see it. I work with it. I know the potential these students have, and where all the competing social and economic factors are pushing them. There is no way in hell I can turn my back on it now. The kid in his dad’s suit was ridiculously happy when he walked across the stage. There is no way I can turn my back on that. 

So I guess I’m saying, TFA was painful, but I’m sure as heck glad I did it, because my eyes are wide open, I know what I’m getting into, and dammit, I want to do it. 

Okay — here end-eth the ramble. 

2 thoughts on “Back to TFA

  1. I know exactly what you mean. NHS was huge for me and my friends, too. We worked really hard and in my community, intelligence was not exactly valued, especially in the school, so it was a big deal for us.

    Are you finished with TFA? I thought it was a two year commitment?


  2. It is a two year commitment — it's just almost the end of the first year. Only 18 more days till I am classified as a “second year teacher”


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