TFA and Law School

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TFA and Law School

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 12, 2010 2:33 pm

Should I defer law school and do TFA?

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nealric
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Re: TFA and Law School

Postby nealric » Sun Dec 12, 2010 2:35 pm

Do you want to teach or not?

Don't do it for your resume or you will be miserable. Actually, you will probably be miserable regardless but at least if you are doing it for the kids you will feel good about yourself at the end of the day.

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Re: TFA and Law School

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 12, 2010 2:36 pm

nealric wrote:Do you want to teach or not?

Don't do it for your resume or you will be miserable. Actually, you will probably be miserable regardless but at least if you are doing it for the kids you will feel good about yourself at the end of the day.


Yeah, I want to teach, but I also want law school.

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arism87
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Re: TFA and Law School

Postby arism87 » Sun Dec 12, 2010 3:15 pm

If you already know you want to go to law school (and in two years) I would not recommend TFA. If you are genuinely interested in teaching for 3-5 years first, OR a career in the field of education, I would recommend it.

The experience is quite frankly miserable (from someone who actually was planning to stay in education) and I can't imagine doing this if I were less invested. Even now, it's hard to keep my head in the game during the law school application process. I'm not saying "don't do it if you aren't invested because you're a horrible person," and I do think someone with selfish interests can be an effective teacher. However, don't put yourself through it!!!

Note: This isn't to say I regret doing TFA: I don't at all. It has definitely been the hardest 2 years of my life, though.

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Re: TFA and Law School

Postby dood » Sun Dec 12, 2010 3:21 pm

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Last edited by dood on Sat Dec 25, 2010 6:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: TFA and Law School

Postby nealric » Sun Dec 12, 2010 3:26 pm

I don't know, I've met TFAers who regretted the day they ever signed up for it. Some people grow from the experience, others become embittered. A lot of your experience will be pure luck of the draw.

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Re: TFA and Law School

Postby sundance95 » Sun Dec 12, 2010 3:28 pm

What are your #s? If super strong, then skip TFA. If not, then do it; it's one of the few softs that provide a tangible admissions boost.

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Re: TFA and Law School

Postby dood » Sun Dec 12, 2010 3:34 pm

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Last edited by dood on Sat Dec 25, 2010 6:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: TFA and Law School

Postby Mustard Blood » Sun Dec 12, 2010 3:41 pm

nealric wrote:Do you want to teach or not?

Don't do it for your resume or you will be miserable. Actually, you will probably be miserable regardless but at least if you are doing it for the kids you will feel good about yourself at the end of the day.


This is pretty much what it comes down to. My cousin did TFA. He wanted to teach, too, but after joining, he realized he should have gone directly to law school, not because he didn't appreciate his students, or dislike teaching, but because he felt like he would be happier if he were in law school. When he entered law school, he was relieved.

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Re: TFA and Law School

Postby iagolives » Sun Dec 12, 2010 9:14 pm

dood wrote:
arism87 wrote:Note: This isn't to say I regret doing TFA: I don't at all. It has definitely been the hardest 2 years of my life, though.


this is wat every one of my TFA friends say (whether in law school or not).

im good friends with a couple TFAers in law school and 1 most valuable thing they got out of it was perspective on life, which made them appreciate law school, enjoy it more, work harder, get better grades, etc. i think to sum it up, they just really grew as people and it was a valuable life experience no matter how u look at it.


I credit this. Whether you do law school or TfA, the next year of your life will be one of the worst of your life. Sorry. However, as someone who faced this choice and did law school right away and not TfA, I think doing TfA and getting the perspective on life/self is very valuable. It is very easy to get lost in the law school world and my friends who did TfA first are generally happier, better grounded, and more efficient with their time so they have more time for things like going out on Fridays.

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Re: TFA and Law School

Postby arism87 » Sun Dec 12, 2010 9:17 pm

iagolives wrote:
dood wrote:
arism87 wrote:Note: This isn't to say I regret doing TFA: I don't at all. It has definitely been the hardest 2 years of my life, though.


this is wat every one of my TFA friends say (whether in law school or not).

im good friends with a couple TFAers in law school and 1 most valuable thing they got out of it was perspective on life, which made them appreciate law school, enjoy it more, work harder, get better grades, etc. i think to sum it up, they just really grew as people and it was a valuable life experience no matter how u look at it.


I credit this. Whether you do law school or TfA, the next year of your life will be one of the worst of your life. Sorry. However, as someone who faced this choice and did law school right away and not TfA, I think doing TfA and getting the perspective on life/self is very valuable. It is very easy to get lost in the law school world and my friends who did TfA first are generally happier, better grounded, and more efficient with their time so they have more time for things like going out on Fridays.


Yeah I can totally see this. People always complain about how hard law school is, but I can't help but think.. really? After this, nothing can be hard. At least in law school if I F it up I'm not hurting anyone but myself! TFA alum confirm that this is pretty much the case. Two years teaching has made me really eager to be a student again and I have a renewed work ethic that I lost partying in UG. Wouldn't change a thing!

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Re: TFA and Law School

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 12, 2010 9:26 pm

FWIW I was in TFA and was constantly breaking up fights from 18-19 year olds who were larger than me (I was 22). Among the many convicted felons in my classes, I even had a convicted rapist. I also didn't have a classroom or books. There wasn't any teaching going on--that was not what the school had me there to do, despite my title as a teacher. I left after a semester, not because it was the worst experience of my life (which it was), not because it was too hard, but because there wasn't anything that I could do or was meant to do in my position.

My experience in summer institute was amazing and wildly successful, though. It was just my placement and my region that was horrendous, and ultimately it's a big crapshoot.

To be fair though, some people do have positive experiences. I'd say its about 50-50, depending on your region. I'd advise against the high need regions, and I'd also advise against high school, if you choose to do it.

Good luck.

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Re: TFA and Law School

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 12, 2010 10:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:FWIW I was in TFA and was constantly breaking up fights from 18-19 year olds who were larger than me (I was 22). Among the many convicted felons in my classes, I even had a convicted rapist. I also didn't have a classroom or books. There wasn't any teaching going on--that was not what the school had me there to do, despite my title as a teacher. I left after a semester, not because it was the worst experience of my life (which it was), not because it was too hard, but because there wasn't anything that I could do or was meant to do in my position.

My experience in summer institute was amazing and wildly successful, though. It was just my placement and my region that was horrendous, and ultimately it's a big crapshoot.

To be fair though, some people do have positive experiences. I'd say its about 50-50, depending on your region. I'd advise against the high need regions, and I'd also advise against high school, if you choose to do it.

Good luck.


What was your placement?

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Re: TFA and Law School

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 12, 2010 10:59 pm

arism87 wrote:If you already know you want to go to law school (and in two years) I would not recommend TFA. If you are genuinely interested in teaching for 3-5 years first, OR a career in the field of education, I would recommend it.

The experience is quite frankly miserable (from someone who actually was planning to stay in education) and I can't imagine doing this if I were less invested. Even now, it's hard to keep my head in the game during the law school application process. I'm not saying "don't do it if you aren't invested because you're a horrible person," and I do think someone with selfish interests can be an effective teacher. However, don't put yourself through it!!!

Note: This isn't to say I regret doing TFA: I don't at all. It has definitely been the hardest 2 years of my life, though.


Hahah. Former TFAer and current 3L, and I can say the following with almost no reservation: it was hard because you probably weren't cut out to do it in the first place. It's only miserable because you had no idea what you were getting yourself into.

If you're head's in the right place and you fully understand what you're doing, the two years will fly by and can be two of the best years of your life. If not, you end up posting whiny messages about how hard it is to be a teacher.

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Re: TFA and Law School

Postby arism87 » Sun Dec 12, 2010 11:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
arism87 wrote:If you already know you want to go to law school (and in two years) I would not recommend TFA. If you are genuinely interested in teaching for 3-5 years first, OR a career in the field of education, I would recommend it.

The experience is quite frankly miserable (from someone who actually was planning to stay in education) and I can't imagine doing this if I were less invested. Even now, it's hard to keep my head in the game during the law school application process. I'm not saying "don't do it if you aren't invested because you're a horrible person," and I do think someone with selfish interests can be an effective teacher. However, don't put yourself through it!!!

Note: This isn't to say I regret doing TFA: I don't at all. It has definitely been the hardest 2 years of my life, though.


Hahah. Former TFAer and current 3L, and I can say the following with almost no reservation: it was hard because you probably weren't cut out to do it in the first place. It's only miserable because you had no idea what you were getting yourself into.

If you're head's in the right place and you fully understand what you're doing, the two years will fly by and can be two of the best years of your life. If not, you end up posting whiny messages about how hard it is to be a teacher.


Alright, maybe you are the one in a hundred that is "cut out to do it" then. As for the rest of us, it is hard. Thanks, Anonymous.

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Re: TFA and Law School

Postby soccerfreak » Mon Dec 13, 2010 12:36 am

As someone who is looking into TFA, what about the experience is/was so bad for you? This is both for those who thought it was worth it and those who thought it wasn't.

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Re: TFA and Law School

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 13, 2010 12:52 am

soccerfreak wrote:As someone who is looking into TFA, what about the experience is/was so bad for you? This is both for those who thought it was worth it and those who thought it wasn't.


Question.

If I decide to do TFA, should I defer law school, or reject all the schools and apply again in two years?

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Re: TFA and Law School

Postby dood » Mon Dec 13, 2010 1:17 am

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Re: TFA and Law School

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 13, 2010 2:04 am

Anonymous User wrote:
arism87 wrote:If you already know you want to go to law school (and in two years) I would not recommend TFA. If you are genuinely interested in teaching for 3-5 years first, OR a career in the field of education, I would recommend it.

The experience is quite frankly miserable (from someone who actually was planning to stay in education) and I can't imagine doing this if I were less invested. Even now, it's hard to keep my head in the game during the law school application process. I'm not saying "don't do it if you aren't invested because you're a horrible person," and I do think someone with selfish interests can be an effective teacher. However, don't put yourself through it!!!

Note: This isn't to say I regret doing TFA: I don't at all. It has definitely been the hardest 2 years of my life, though.


Hahah. Former TFAer and current 3L, and I can say the following with almost no reservation: it was hard because you probably weren't cut out to do it in the first place. It's only miserable because you had no idea what you were getting yourself into.

If you're head's in the right place and you fully understand what you're doing, the two years will fly by and can be two of the best years of your life. If not, you end up posting whiny messages about how hard it is to be a teacher.


So you were placed in Phoenix, Denver, Hawaii or some other easy region then? Or a rural region?

I can't believe you laughed at him. Aside from it being rude and childish, you probably were in an easy placement, and he probably was not. Even within regions, the schools you could be placed at vary dramatically. If you don't understand that TFA is a total crapshoot, then you really are ignorant to how the whole thing works.

Did you have to break up fist fights with kids larger than you? (Incidentally, I'm 6'2".) Did you have people convicted of assault and rape in your classes? Didn't think so. Go back and teach in a real region before trying to pretend that you were "cut out to do it" and he was not.

To answer OPs original question, rural areas tend to have smaller classes and better kids. Avoid the high need regions, especially high school in those regions. In my region, people who taught elementary tended to be happiest, and the more rural you got, the easier it tended to be as well.

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Re: TFA and Law School

Postby 20160810 » Mon Dec 13, 2010 4:10 am

Hokay, wow, the old "Should I do TFA?" Where do I begin?

First, as a background, I did 2 years in TFA. Secondly, the fact that you're asking if you should DEFER to do TFA makes me more inclined to think you're doing it for the right reasons. It won't help you get into law school (in some cases it seems to give people a boost, but by and large it doesn't and that boost is nothing that's worth 2 years of your life), but you're already in. It also won't really help you get a job once you're in law school, although I will admit that I think in this it was more helpful to me than it was in admissions, because it gave me something to talk about in interviews and allowed me to show employers that I stick out tough, shitty, urewarding situations and work hard when I'm only making $30,000 a year (leaving them to imagine how much hell I might be willing to put up with for several times that much). I managed to luck into a decent firm job despite having good-but-not-great grades from a good-but-not-great law school, and I think to some degree TFA was a part of that.

I also think that during my 2 years in TFA I developed a lot as a person. I'm more mature, and more able to work hard, and more able to appreciate what a luxury it is to be a student and not working full-time. All of that is good.

That said, and if you don't read any of the rest of my post, read this: TFA was hard, it was shitty, a lot of the people (a majority, honestly) just fucking sucked (they were all type-a boners with no sense of humor - liberals who aren't laid back at all, which is counterintuitive and not fun to be around), and I didn't like teaching very much. I realized about 3 weeks into it that I should have just gone to law school, and the rest of the 2 year commitment was a slog.

Your experience will be nothing like Stand and Deliver. You will not "reach" kids. You will not inspire them. You will not change lives. You will not turn a kid away from gangs and towards books. You will mainly just grade papers, do paperwork for your administration and get called a [HI I'M THE WORD FILTER. THIS PERSON MIGHT BE A DICK.] a lot by illiterate children. If this does not discourage you (btw, don't start thinking "Well MY experience will be different!" - we all thought that, yours won't be different, it will be shitty), then do TFA. But really, doing TFA unless you're at least 40-50% sure you might want to teach as a career is a waste of your time.

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Re: TFA and Law School

Postby 20160810 » Mon Dec 13, 2010 4:12 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
arism87 wrote:If you already know you want to go to law school (and in two years) I would not recommend TFA. If you are genuinely interested in teaching for 3-5 years first, OR a career in the field of education, I would recommend it.

The experience is quite frankly miserable (from someone who actually was planning to stay in education) and I can't imagine doing this if I were less invested. Even now, it's hard to keep my head in the game during the law school application process. I'm not saying "don't do it if you aren't invested because you're a horrible person," and I do think someone with selfish interests can be an effective teacher. However, don't put yourself through it!!!

Note: This isn't to say I regret doing TFA: I don't at all. It has definitely been the hardest 2 years of my life, though.


Hahah. Former TFAer and current 3L, and I can say the following with almost no reservation: it was hard because you probably weren't cut out to do it in the first place. It's only miserable because you had no idea what you were getting yourself into.

If you're head's in the right place and you fully understand what you're doing, the two years will fly by and can be two of the best years of your life. If not, you end up posting whiny messages about how hard it is to be a teacher.


So you were placed in Phoenix, Denver, Hawaii or some other easy region then? Or a rural region?

I can't believe you laughed at him. Aside from it being rude and childish, you probably were in an easy placement, and he probably was not. Even within regions, the schools you could be placed at vary dramatically. If you don't understand that TFA is a total crapshoot, then you really are ignorant to how the whole thing works.

Did you have to break up fist fights with kids larger than you? (Incidentally, I'm 6'2".) Did you have people convicted of assault and rape in your classes? Didn't think so. Go back and teach in a real region before trying to pretend that you were "cut out to do it" and he was not.

To answer OPs original question, rural areas tend to have smaller classes and better kids. Avoid the high need regions, especially high school in those regions. In my region, people who taught elementary tended to be happiest, and the more rural you got, the easier it tended to be as well.

For the record, I was in a rural region, and they are not "easy." You deal with a ton of the same bullshit from your horrible shitty students, and the other corps members are all weird boners who wear Tevas and think it's romantic and cool to be stuck in the middle of nowhere, but the worst part is you're in the middle of nowhere too so you have nobody to hang out with except them. I would have killed to be in NYC or DC - the students couldn't have been any shittier, and at least you'd be able to hang out with people who aren't CMs.

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Re: TFA and Law School

Postby arism87 » Mon Dec 13, 2010 8:16 am

As someone who is looking into TFA, what about the experience is/was so bad for you? This is both for those who thought it was worth it and those who thought it wasn't.


Again, I don't think it has been a bad experience, just a very difficult one. You may end up in a school where kids (even in elementary school) are yelling "fuck you" to your face, you may be hit by a student, or have your belongings stolen or destroyed. Your students may be killed or arrested (I know of a few just in my two years). This all just takes a toll, no matter how strong or "cut out for it" you are.

I am lucky enough that I haven't faced much of this-- actually I'm in Baltimore, so while some of it varies by region it also varies by school.

The first year was hard for me because I was working 80+ hours a week and I still SUCKED. I mean, I just had no idea what I was doing. I don't blame TFA for this- I don't think any education program would have prepared me, either. I think your first year teaching is just tough. This year is much better as far as workload/my personal success, but the emotional drain is still there. Now instead of worrying that I don't have a lesson plan written for tomorrow, I worry that I should be making a better one or doing more, or if my kids are eating dinner over the weekend, or if I'm being effective.

I'll stress that I can't think of anyone here who has had an EASY go at it, although it has definitely been easier for some than others. That said, the people who tend to find it easier (ahem) tend to be the ones that can give less than 100% without feeling guilty about it.. not that that's necessarily bad.

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Re: TFA and Law School

Postby 20160810 » Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:42 am

arism87 wrote:
As someone who is looking into TFA, what about the experience is/was so bad for you? This is both for those who thought it was worth it and those who thought it wasn't.


Again, I don't think it has been a bad experience, just a very difficult one. You may end up in a school where kids (even in elementary school) are yelling "fuck you" to your face, you may be hit by a student, or have your belongings stolen or destroyed. Your students may be killed or arrested (I know of a few just in my two years). This all just takes a toll, no matter how strong or "cut out for it" you are.

I am lucky enough that I haven't faced much of this-- actually I'm in Baltimore, so while some of it varies by region it also varies by school.

The first year was hard for me because I was working 80+ hours a week and I still SUCKED. I mean, I just had no idea what I was doing. I don't blame TFA for this- I don't think any education program would have prepared me, either. I think your first year teaching is just tough. This year is much better as far as workload/my personal success, but the emotional drain is still there. Now instead of worrying that I don't have a lesson plan written for tomorrow, I worry that I should be making a better one or doing more, or if my kids are eating dinner over the weekend, or if I'm being effective.

I'll stress that I can't think of anyone here who has had an EASY go at it, although it has definitely been easier for some than others. That said, the people who tend to find it easier (ahem) tend to be the ones that can give less than 100% without feeling guilty about it.. not that that's necessarily bad.

They didn't pay me enough to give 50%, and giving 80% I was still twice as good as the career (*cough* union *cough*) teachers at my school. 100%? Fuhgeddaboudit.

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Re: TFA and Law School

Postby arism87 » Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:55 am

SBL wrote:
arism87 wrote:
As someone who is looking into TFA, what about the experience is/was so bad for you? This is both for those who thought it was worth it and those who thought it wasn't.


Again, I don't think it has been a bad experience, just a very difficult one. You may end up in a school where kids (even in elementary school) are yelling "fuck you" to your face, you may be hit by a student, or have your belongings stolen or destroyed. Your students may be killed or arrested (I know of a few just in my two years). This all just takes a toll, no matter how strong or "cut out for it" you are.

I am lucky enough that I haven't faced much of this-- actually I'm in Baltimore, so while some of it varies by region it also varies by school.

The first year was hard for me because I was working 80+ hours a week and I still SUCKED. I mean, I just had no idea what I was doing. I don't blame TFA for this- I don't think any education program would have prepared me, either. I think your first year teaching is just tough. This year is much better as far as workload/my personal success, but the emotional drain is still there. Now instead of worrying that I don't have a lesson plan written for tomorrow, I worry that I should be making a better one or doing more, or if my kids are eating dinner over the weekend, or if I'm being effective.

I'll stress that I can't think of anyone here who has had an EASY go at it, although it has definitely been easier for some than others. That said, the people who tend to find it easier (ahem) tend to be the ones that can give less than 100% without feeling guilty about it.. not that that's necessarily bad.

They didn't pay me enough to give 50%, and giving 80% I was still twice as good as the career (*cough* union *cough*) teachers at my school. 100%? Fuhgeddaboudit.


Lol so true. When people bitch about biglaw hours I'm like.. yeah, not fun.. but at least I'd be getting paid for my time!

(I do feel compelled to add that MANY of the career teachers at my school are dedicated, intelligent, and effective. From other people I get the idea that this isn't necessarily the norm, and I do think I got lucky with my school placement, but I wanna stand up for them anyway!)

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Re: TFA and Law School

Postby 20160810 » Mon Dec 13, 2010 10:01 am

arism87 wrote:
SBL wrote:
arism87 wrote:
As someone who is looking into TFA, what about the experience is/was so bad for you? This is both for those who thought it was worth it and those who thought it wasn't.


Again, I don't think it has been a bad experience, just a very difficult one. You may end up in a school where kids (even in elementary school) are yelling "fuck you" to your face, you may be hit by a student, or have your belongings stolen or destroyed. Your students may be killed or arrested (I know of a few just in my two years). This all just takes a toll, no matter how strong or "cut out for it" you are.

I am lucky enough that I haven't faced much of this-- actually I'm in Baltimore, so while some of it varies by region it also varies by school.

The first year was hard for me because I was working 80+ hours a week and I still SUCKED. I mean, I just had no idea what I was doing. I don't blame TFA for this- I don't think any education program would have prepared me, either. I think your first year teaching is just tough. This year is much better as far as workload/my personal success, but the emotional drain is still there. Now instead of worrying that I don't have a lesson plan written for tomorrow, I worry that I should be making a better one or doing more, or if my kids are eating dinner over the weekend, or if I'm being effective.

I'll stress that I can't think of anyone here who has had an EASY go at it, although it has definitely been easier for some than others. That said, the people who tend to find it easier (ahem) tend to be the ones that can give less than 100% without feeling guilty about it.. not that that's necessarily bad.

They didn't pay me enough to give 50%, and giving 80% I was still twice as good as the career (*cough* union *cough*) teachers at my school. 100%? Fuhgeddaboudit.


Lol so true. When people bitch about biglaw hours I'm like.. yeah, not fun.. but at least I'd be getting paid for my time!

(I do feel compelled to add that MANY of the career teachers at my school are dedicated, intelligent, and effective. From other people I get the idea that this isn't necessarily the norm, and I do think I got lucky with my school placement, but I wanna stand up for them anyway!)

I would say the career (non-tfa) teachers I worked with broke down neatly 50/50, with half being awesome, kind, intelligent, hard-working, dedicated people I'm honored to have met and worked with... and half being borderline retards who literally couldn't hold down any other job. I had to teach a 5th grade teacher how to do long division. Twice. She'd been teaching that class for 10 years before she met me. Let that sink in...




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