Wednesday, December 24, 2008

First term reflections

A year ago, I never would have believed that I'd be sitting here writing about my first full term as a teacher in New York City. Actually, 12 months ago, it seemed like my life had no direction other than graduation approaching in May. It really is amazing how much things can change in 12 short months.

So here I am, sitting in a hotel near the Pittsburgh airport, on my way home after finishing my first four months as a teacher in New York City. At the beginning of the school year, I was scared to death and had no idea what to really expect, and after hearing stories from countless older TFA corps members, I just knew something horrendous was going to happen somewhere down the road (that's just my kind of luck).

Fortunately, divine providence has dealt me a tremendous blessing the last four months. The school I work at (I.S. 528 in Washington Heights), is an oasis and what could easily have become a long, arduous journey though the inner city. During the last four months, I have forged tremendous friendships with many of my coworkers and have developed a deep respect for my administration as well. Perhaps most importantly, I admire my students. Each and every one of them have inspired me in some way. In fact, with each passing day, and the more I learn about each of them, I am even more blown away by the way they are turning into adventurous young adults.

Looking back, I worry that the last four months have been an anomaly and that the next six are somehow going to go wrong. Although, certainly such fears can be alleviated with lots of pre-planning on my part, which shouldn't be too bad. Either way, I can't wait to get back to work in January and see all my "kids" again. It's tough raising 129 of them!