Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A beginning

I'm a frequent reader of Teach For Us, a blogging outlet for Teach For America corps members and alumni.  I find it to be both a useful tool to get a firsthand perspective on education in other cities across the country and also a helpful reflective device in evaluating my effectiveness as a teacher, a colleague, and an aspiring politico.  I'm also guilty of using it for my amusement.  No, not in a bad way!  Really!  I just enjoy reading about how the transformation from applicant to soon-to-be teacher to teacher plays out for my fellow vicenarians.  And in truth, I read because I sympathize with their musings and it's comforting to know that other people are having the same frustrations I had and continue to have.

I think a concern I have with blogging, especially with Teach For America bloggers, is that it seems like everyone writes as through they're an authority.  Applicants recently admitted to the program blog about how to get accepted to an organization they don't fully know, corps members at induction write (extensively) about their thoughts on education (often with marginal experience as an educator), and alumni write about the way Teach For America runs itself with having any recent, meaningful engagement with the program.

I mention my concern about the overabundance of experts because I don't want that to be me.  If it is, call me on it.  I'll be up front about my experience - I have fewer than four years in the classroom.  I have worked at institute.  I teach math.  I have had classrooms where student success was the rule and classrooms where student success was the exception.  I have learned tremendously from both experiences, and I'm a better teacher for it.  And I resisted the urge to blog on Teach For Us because I want to ensure I reach a diverse audience and in my experience, Teach For Us does not reach large numbers of non-Teach For America teachers.  But I hope that if you're reading this, you'll stick around by reading, commenting, or continuing to read in the future.

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