I hate to be the negative one here, but someone needs to tell the incoming TFA corps members that they are not going to singlehandedly eliminate the achievement gap this year. I’m so glad that they are enthusiastic and ready to try, because that’s going to be necessary to get them through the year. I’m so glad they’re setting these Big Goals and High Expectations, because those never hurt. I’m so glad they think they can, because they might not set foot into a classroom otherwise. But please, please stop saying it out loud.
“I can’t wait to get into my classroom and turn every one of my poor miserable children into the top scholars in the world. Because I’ve done my pre-institute work, I know that this can easily be accomplished by Setting Big Goals and Relentlessly Pursuing them every day.”
This is why so many established teachers hate Teach For America. It takes a lot of nerve to decide that you can just walk into a classroom and fix a major social issue faced by our entire nation. It’s even worse when you expect to do it singlehandedly, with little training or experience or support. If it were that easy, don’t you think someone would have done it already? There are plenty of phenomenal teachers in our school systems, and yet there is still an achievement gap. Please keep in mind that you are joining those people in the fight, not pushing them out of the way so you can do it yourself. That’s the only way that TFA can be successful, especially since new teachers really can’t function without existing teachers’ support. Seriously. This is starting to annoy me.
I would bet a million dollars that more first-year corps members get chairs thrown at them regularly than successfully close the entire achievement gap. There’s actually no doubt in my mind.
PS I’m glad you’re doing your pre-institute work, but stop overthinking it. No one’s ever going to read it.