Teachin' Spanish For America

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
May 18 2011

Pre-Interview Fair Jitters

Step One of coping: procrastination.  Enter Teach For Us.

Well, I figured that I haven’t been exactly flooding the interwebs with my talking and information-sharing, so it was only fair that I updated y’all on the situation. (Not The Situation–I’m in Jersey but I’m not that Jersey).

Starting backward, tomorrow is the first big interview fair for Newark.  What this means is through some unholy act of magic, the Newark team has managed to finagle a large portion of school representatives into one group to intimidate and bully interview 2011 CMs.  I have three interviews, and they constitute an interesting mix: A brand-spanking-new charter school (run by a TFA alumna, it appears–the TFA lingo on the website tipped me off and I did some further reading on that) that will ultimately be K-8 but currently is accepting only K-1 applicants; a well-established middle school charter school that hosts 5-8 and founded by a Reverend on behalf of a frustrated church community; and a high school charter.

You’ll notice that all of these schools are charter schools; I noticed that too.  I’m not sure how I feel about that on the most abstract level (I literally do not know–I’m having a hard time developing my opinion on charter schools), but I guess I really shouldn’t be surprised, considering there are 63 charter schools in New Jersey and we’re apparently on the edge of some big educational changes around here.

Anyway, and I’m fully aware that this is something EVERYONE bitches about, it’s been sort of nerve-wracking thinking about and preparing for this interview.  How on this green earth am I supposed to confidently answer questions about things with which I have no experience?  I mean, I’m an articulate individual who is passionate about receiving feedback and consistently improving, but I’m starting from nothing here.  How will I arrange desks or handle discipline?  How will I differentiate instruction?  Um, I don’t know.  Last time I taught it was twenty-somethings in a semi-circle screaming German phrases back at me.  I’m reading (and thoroughly enjoying) Teach Like A Champion at the moment, especially since I’m able to compare it to the still marginally useful but also amusing and outdated The Everything Handbook to Classroom Management.  My dad got it for me for my birthday.  It tells me how to organize my life with a Palm Pilot.  Oh Jesus.

I guess what I’m attempting to say is that I have no issue with having opinions, I just usually like to have some basis for them, and reading in books absolutely doesn’t count. (Sorry books.  You know I love you.)

I’m thinking a lot and I’m sure I’ll have steady, opinionated answers that are simultaneously self-assured and humble tomorrow.  Because we all know I have SO. MUCH. TO. LEARN.  But still.

In other news, I graduate on Sunday and money is a ridiculous concept that should be banned until I start receiving a paycheck again.

Back to regularly scheduled programming; I will keep y’all up to date with everything that goes on!


4 Responses

  1. tarheel turned texan

    Good luck!

  2. amandainthemitten

    Good luck! I interview with schools tomorrow in Detroit. I cope/ procrastinate by reading on Teach For Us. =)

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