You supported me during the phone interview that I thought I bombed. Followed by the Final Interview Day that left me wishing I had said one thing and hoping to forget I said another. You inquired, wished me well, and indefinitely crossed your fingers for the 6 week waiting period leading up to today. To all of you out there I wish to extend my most sincere gratitude. I truly appreciate each and every thought, prayer and good thought you sent my way. For those of you who have not yet heard…
I got accepted! I will be teaching elementary school in Wilmington, Delaware.
Let’s start from the beginning. I knew to expect an email some time this afternoon regarding their decision. I checked my e-mail a little less frequently than I thought I would but still enough to make me a lunatic. After I dismissed my kindergartners I ran to the office computer to check one more time before I got home. I was in the middle of a conversation with a coworker when I hit refresh and a “Sender: Teach For America Admissions” email popped up. My heart started pounding out of my chest and I just “uh huh-ed” my way through the rest of my conversation. Finally, I clicked… “We are pleased to invite you…” My mouth formed a huge grin and I immediately clicked over to the TFA homepage to check out my assignment. Don’t freak out if it’s not Philadelphia…just be happy you got in and figure out the rest later I thought…
“You have been invited to teach elementary school in Mid Atlantic region…”
At this point, I stopped reading. I jumped up squealing, telling all my friends in the office my good news. “PHILADELPHIA! I don’t have to move!”
I skipped home, calling L and casually mentioning my joyous news. His response was sweeter than I could have imagined-He was so proud and genuinely happy for me. I ran into Whole Foods to get a proper celebratory dinner: 2 large (buy 1 get 1 free) pizzas, a bottle of sparkling water, and a huge vegan chocolate chip cookie. Perfect.
I ran inside and was immediately welcomed with a huge hug and kiss. We grabbed my computer to check out the details. I logged in, directed to my ‘details’ page and my eyes locked in on the regional assignment.
“Mid-Atlantic Region, specifically Wilmington, DE.”
The tears started coming. I don’t know if it was shock, fatigue, or genuine upset, but they came and I let them. After all, this is where I’m supposed to be. I’m not supposed to move, I’m supposed to be here with L in our home.
He entertained my premature concerns and we talked about the potential of me getting a studio apartment there and spending my week days there and coming home during the weekend.
If it was any other job an hour commute would be nothing. I’d invest in a new car and call it a day. But this is different… I’ll be getting my own classroom and more importantly class. I’ll be taking graduate classes in pursuit of my Master’s of Elementary Education. So it’s a bit alarming to think that I’ll have to drive home at the end of very long, mentally and physically exhausting days.
But, as a good friend suggested, I will weight the pros and cons and create a plan that I’m comfortable with.
For now, I want to be nothing more than excited and passionate about life and the opportunity that I’ve earned.
For those of you interested in the particulars, read on! There’s a lot to report.
The next 5 or so months are consumed with testing, filling out forms, and perhaps some early interviews. No, I am not “given a job”. TFA sets up the interviews for me and I will go on them and attempt to ‘wow’ them with my skills.
In late June I will participate in Induction and Institute will take place in Philadelphia and I will be staying on a local college campus during that time (unfortunately it’s frowned upon to commute during that time, even if you live nearby). Induction will basically provide an introduction to Wilmington and the school system there. Institute is when things get a little crazy. Basically, we will be teaching summer school in the School District of Philadelphia in the morning and taking rigorous coursework in the evenings… or something like that. This will end in late July.
Finally, in the final weeks of August I will open the door to my very own classroom and welcome my students. I’ll be responsible for lesson planning, classroom management, and all of the regular components of a veteran teacher. A night or two per week I will be taking graduate classes at the local university. The duration of the program is 2 years and during that time I will be working to the best of my ability to ensure that these children receive the best education possible.
So that’s it! Over the next few months I will continue working as a substitute teacher and perhaps squeeze in a few more trips.
What I know for sure is that I’ve been presented with a great opportunity and will embrace it accordingly.
Of course I’m a bit overwhelmed, nervous even. But I know I can be a great teacher and will work as hard as possible to prove that to my students.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your continued support.