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Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jan 11 2009

New Year, New Perspective

I apologize for not having written in a while, but I’m sure with all the festivities of the holiday season this is easily understood, and with that, I’d like to say Happy New Year!

I cannot even tell you how badly I needed my winter vacation!  It was wonderfully relaxing.  It may seem a bit dramatic to say that I needed to “return to my roots,” but in actuality, that’s a pretty accurate description of how I felt.  Going home and partaking in a respite from such a hideously toxic professional environment really helped to gain perspective on my experience here in Phoenix.  I have never felt more like myself than I have in the past 6 months!  My self-confidence was restored.

Here’s my new perspective (which should have been as clear as crystal from the moment I stepped into my school back in July, but I was just too overwhelmed to effectively assess my new environment):

  • My district is…well…dreadful (to put it nicely).
  • My school is…well…probably in the bottom three in the district.
  • I’m not the panacea.
  • All I can do is my best, and I promise to do just that.
  • My only loyalty is to my 28 students.
  • I have a year and a half left, and if my admistration wants to butt heads with me every step of the way, I choose not to lose sleep over it.  If they want to, they are welcome to do so.  If they want to support me and help me, then I’ll gladly embrace such positive interaction (after all that is their job, but I’m tired of being threatened and bullied).
  • I’m not perfect, my kids aren’t perfect, and neither party is in the running to attain perfection this year…and that is okay, but we will NEVER stop striving to reach our very best.

I have no malicious intent in stating my new perspective above.  This is me being frank and relaxed.  I’m done buying into the unnecessary drama that takes place at my school.  I know things will get rough, even tougher than they were last semester, but melting down is just not all that productive.

So, as I start the New Year, I’ll repeat what I’ve said a hundred times before: “I need to do what’s best for my kids, and right now, what’s best for my kids is what’s best for me.”  I choose simplicity over complexity.  I choose  to partake in a planning collaborative that makes sense for me, that creates opportunities for success for my students, that utilizes my talents and the talents of others, that is welcoming and open.  I choose peace over commotion and drama this year, and I wish the same for all of you reading this.

One Response

  1. Jamie

    I stumbled across this blog somehow and I’m glad I did – I’m a first year TFAer teaching 5th grade in Charlotte. Its nice to know someone is going through something similar regarding work environment and has reacted in a positive way. These thoughts are similar to my New Years resolutions haha. :)


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