Catherine Michna, a fellow at Tulane University who teaches American Studies and African American literature classes, wrote a post on her blog to let all her students know that she won't be writing letters of recommendation for them for Teach for America, but will happily find time to sit down with them and go discuss why. Which, regardless of whether or not you support the program, is a good thing! We should all take the time to talk through the things we want to do and figure out why something is worthwhile.
There’s a lot about teaching itself that was terrible and painful. There were parts of it that were satisfying and uplifting. A lot of folks who did TFA would likely say something similar; a lot of them might say something different.
School is back in session and a new crop of Teach for America recruits are in classrooms across the country, and some of them will be grossly unprepared for the upcoming school year. In The Atlantic, a TFA alum talks about some of the challenges she faced, and concludes, as we have heard time and again, that the program is highly problematic.
It’s back-to-school season, and for the first time, I am not a part of the melee. At 24 years old, I have no classes to prepare for, no lead pencils to buy. My masters degree is completed, a useless (and enormous) piece of cardstock in a very expensive frame. College is a distant utopian dream. My two years as an inner-city middle-school teacher have been distilled to a line on a resume, a punch line to the black joke that was my early twenties. That thing I did, that one time.