Instead of returning to my placement school for next year, I will be joining City Year Orlando (more on that later).
Instead of renewing my contract for next year, which usually happens pretty much automatically, I was told by my school that I could reapply as a new applicant to the district and find out maybe sometime over the summer whether they would rehire me for next school year. This was not directly due to the ever-present budget problems at the school, but rather because I was not very good at my job.
Instead of reapplying and waiting an indefinite amount of time to see if I would be rehired, I decided to start applying to other programs. It is likely that my second year would have gone better than the first, but since the first year was pretty miserable and since my school didn’t really want me back (as evidenced by not immediately renewing my contract), I’m going to try something new for next year, with the hope that I’ll be able to have as much or more of a positive impact on kids.
Next year, I will be a City Year corps member in Orlando. I’ll be working in a middle school or high school doing tutoring, mentoring, classroom support, afterschool programs, etc. I am very excited to have the opportunity to continue working to change students’ academic trajectories in this new way. I’ll be working one-on-one and in smaller groups with kids, which is a more natural setting for me, and will help me develop deeper relationships with my students, which was a struggle for me last year with 100+ students who I saw for only 50 minutes a day (in groups of ~28 at a time).
It is sad to say goodbye to TFA, but I am excited to now be doing work which I feel prepared for, which feels more natural, and which seems more likely to enable me to actually impact a large group of kids in a significant way.
More information on my City Year experience can be found at my new blog (which will also be a bit broader in scope, including not just my City Year experiences, but also some commentary on lots of other things I’m thinking about): www.havingneweyes.com
Thanks for everyone’s ongoing support, and I look forward to seeing you at the new blog!
P.S. The only thing I am dreading about City Year is the endless icebreakers and hand signals. Sigh. So far, everything else about City Year seems pretty wonderful!