Insert Witty Title Here

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Aug 24 2012

Institute Part 3: Moving On…

On Institute…

So as everyone has surely noticed, Institute is long past. My whole “write a lot about Institute” plan has clearly failed. As has my “blog a lot about everything” plan. We should not be surprised by this as my “blog during Institute!” plan failed and my “blog during Induction” plan failed. Basically, I fail at blogging.

I kinda think it goes down to this- I really do like to play things pretty close to the chest. I’d rather think about things than talk about my emotions. I’m not good at getting very like… pumped about stuff. At least not in the typical Ra-Ra-Ra way. Hence my big old fat problem with TFA. (Which has not gone away… TFA loves the “Shout-out” self love… more on that later).

Anyway, I want you to know, dear readers (aka family and friends who are guilted in to this) that I really did try to write about Institute. I have three different drafts of blogs done throughout these past four weeks all about Institute. One was about the first day of school and how I taught concussed because I had been hit on the head with a fast swinging handicapped door. That came out slightly humorous but ultimately devoid of any real substance. I mean, the little “Sometimes you won’t be at your best, but you gotta teach anyway!” tagline I tried to stick on there was just forced. It was really just a story about my experience. The second draft I tried was supposed to be a slightly humorous/sometimes serious list of “Things I learned at Institute.” It had lines like “I learned how to make a teacher face. I also learned that sometimes a smile work 100x better.” (I post that line here because I think that’s the only thing worth saving from the whole two page list). That draft came off just… trying too hard. Slash preachy. And if I re-read a draft and feel like I’m preaching to myself, it’s not being introduced to the blogosphere. I do not know enough about anything to preach to anyone. The last one was so bad I deleted it before I could save it and now have no idea what it was about.

I think the thing about Institute is… eventually you just get sick of talking about it. There’s too much to tell and yet, sometimes there’s not really anything I feel like telling. Yes, it sucked sometimes. Yes, I learned a lot. Yes, I really loved my kids. Ugh- just even typing this “Yes” list. I’m bored by it. I’m done talking about it. And I have been for a while. I believe that that’s why my Institute posts did not pan out. I feel like if people ask me specific questions and I feel like I’m helping people or answering things, then I’m good to talk about Institute. But, if it’s just like “How was Institute?” I just kinda shrug, smile and roll my eyes. The time for war-stories is over. Has been over.

Sometimes I feel rather guilty about this. Like I should be raving on about how much I loved my kids and all the things I learned. But… it’s just not gonna happen. And I’m going to accept that. So no more lovely Institute posts for me.

My final thought on Institute 2012. One of my students texted me on Monday telling me that they had put him back in 7th grade even though he passed summer school (he was one of my awesome students) and should be in 8th. I told him to tell his mom to call the school because he 100% passed out of 7th grade. He got back to me today that he was moved into 8th grade. That was cool.


Next up: First week of teaching. Yes it happened. (Or… see you guys in a month or so if we go according to pattern).

2 Responses

  1. Gary Rubinstein

    Keep up the good work on your blog. It is a great honest account of what the TFA experience is like for most people. Also, if you’re teaching high school English, you should get to know TFA alum Roxanna Elden who wrote ‘See Me After Class’ and is a high school English teacher out there.

  2. Thomas Dee


    My name is Tom and I work for Scholastic. I wanted to reach out to you and let you know about a new book we have coming out called CAPTURE THE FLAG written by Kate Messner geared for ages 8-12.

    We would love to work with your blog to promote this book in the Miami region. I would be able to send you a complimentary copy of the book for you to review.

    Please let me know what you think? Feel free to email me with any questions you may have!

    Thank you for your time!

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