By ∆ Michelle

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jun 05 2013


And this news could not have come at a better time.

Let’s just say the past few days have been stressful. Having planned to leave my belongings in my roommate’s apartment until I returned from Institute, I finished the paperwork I needed for registration, did some pre-work, and started packing my luggage. I was even making lists and organizing stuff like a fiend so as to bring only the most reasonable number of bags (final count: 3) to my five-week training. Then my roommate told me that she had to unexpectedly move out of the apartment instead of renewing her lease, which ended after June. Suddenly, I found myself with an apartment full of stuff without a plan to vacate it, and only two days to make one up. (I covered most of this in my last post, but I’m still recovering from the stress, so I wanted to reiterate. It was hard, you guys.)

(Okay now I’m just whining.)

But then, on the second day, I had a scheduled phone interview with a school in Shaw, MS. I spent the morning packing and cleaning until the interview, and I wasn’t even looking forward to it. By this point, I had done about five phone interviews, and I felt exhausted. I thought for sure someone would have hired me by now. I had really enjoyed some of the interviews in particular, and I felt totally discouraged that no one had picked me up yet. Part of me was even in this crazed denial phase where I told myself I had already been hired, they just hadn’t told me yet, or they hadn’t told my region’s hiring coordinator or something. Because, let’s face it, everyone wants to hire me, right?

When I realized how stupid I was to believe myself about that one, I tried to do what TFA says: embrace ambiguity. Which means: use everything as an opportunity to distract yourself from the fact that you are moving to Mississippi in two months and you don’t even know what grade you’re teaching, much less where your school is. Just embrace that there ambiguity with a big ol’ bear hug of denial and total distraction.

It was so stressful. I thought of all the stuff I needed to learn at Institute, which was made even more overwhelming by the fact that I didn’t know which grade I would be teaching. Also, I needed to start finding a place to live, and I didn’t even know which city I’d be in. I did not want to hug that ambiguity.

I hugged it anyway and accepted the fact that I would just not know anything helpful until at least the third week of Institute, and I would just deal with it.
So there I was, packing and moving and exhausted, when the phone interview finally happened. The school in Shaw decided to hire me as a Third Grade ELA teacher! I did a little fangirl scream that I’m not super proud of, and the rest of the day was so much easier.

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To whomever is interested in my TFA adventure

Mississippi Delta
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