On Friday I received my first paycheck for my teaching “gig” (that is what it feels like right now… more on that later). After a week of filling out retirement forms and healthcare documents my parents warmly welcome me to the world of adulthood. I feel more stressed and less stressed in different ways. In some ways, I definitely agree with the sentiment expressed in this movie trailer that “nobody feels like an adult, that’s the world’s dirty secret.” I do not feel different, just a little bit more lonely at times because I live in an apartment farther away from my friends. We are no longer centrally housed on campus or can be found in the library at late night hours typing our essays together and snacking on hummus and chocolate.I no longer have to rush to eat in the dining hall before my 5:30 pm class, and I can make much more lovely meals in my kitchen right here. Even though in my practical and mature mindset I am 100% certain I did the correct thing by graduating early and getting a head start on my career and saving money (especially after seeing those large sums of loans I owe to Dept of Ed), now that my older friends are all moving back to DC and gearing up for their senior year, I can’t help but feel a longing for visiting my professors, writing about critical education theory, partaking in creative projects, and breaking down but being cared for by my dear friends because we are all in stressed, sleepless state. Maybe I should take these feelings as my need to become a professor and return to a university setting as a teacher. Or maybe I should do an office job at a university post-TFA. But, really, should I be thinking of any of these things right now? Probably not. I need to focus on what lies ahead of me this week….but I know that what has always motivated me to do well in the present is the promise of the future and what new opportunities will open up for me. I do not feel this way right now about teaching.
Maybe this is because I am now being assigned as a Special Ed teacher, when I was looking forward to a multilingual/cultural classroom set-up. Maybe this is because I still do not have a defined role at my school. Or, maybe it is because I am not cut out to teach. I do not know the answer and it scares me. If I am being completely honest (which I am, don’t worry since that is what a blog is for), I am really upset and disappointed I am helping other people decorate their classrooms. I thought I would have responsibility of a classroom and of shaping students’ futures. I thought TFA was going to aid me in providing a transformative education and becoming a transformative teacher, but instead, I have been hired as a teacher but placed as a flexible assistant for the time being. Yes, it looks nice on paper but I do not feel fulfilled or happy with where I am. This is the root of my problem. I would give anything to know what the future holds for me at this school and if it is worth it sticking it out. I am not a quitter, but I am also someone who works hard and wants to work with children now and not two months from now.