Last weekend or so, I went to Houston for Teach for America’s Preview Weekend. I got to meet TFA Corps members incoming, current, and outgoing. It was awesome to get to sit down with them and pick their brains about the whole teaching experience.
I was pleased with TFA’s selection of incoming Corps members. I met people from the University of Michigan, Howard University, Univeristy of Tennessee (which apparently is “The REAL UT”), Yale University and many more in between. There were even some people who were giving up their comfy jobs in the corporate world for this opportunity. Talking to these talented people made me realize that they could be doing a number of things besides Teach for America but yet they’d decided to teach. That’s when it hit me. This is for real! We were about to be teaching in Houston ISD. Some of us were going to some of the toughest schools in the district. One day soon, there would be 20-30 eyes looking to us for guidance. It was all very overwhelming. How could I? A 21 year old almost graduate, with no experience be expected to teach like some of the exemplary teachers we had seen. To be honest, the whole idea of it overwhelmed me.
Getting to talk with current core members was the best part of the weekend. At one of the TFA socials, at first, I felt like the new kid at the lunch, looking for people to talk to. Then something clicked inside of me and I thought I have a million questions. I have to find someone to answer them all. Then I started introducing myself to people and chatting with them. They were all very open and honest about their experience. Chatting with them eased a lot of my concerns. I had been having a rough weekend due to some unforeseen circumstances (I couldn’t take my teaching certification test and I didn’t have any interviews). I was feeling a little down before I met them but seeing them gave me a new perspective.
I’m typically not a huge worrier but I was really buggin’ this weekend. I freak out about things for a little bit but I decided to just let it go. It’s the only way to stay sane. You should try it. Don’t get me wrong, I still get a little freaked about the uncertainty of the future every now and then. But I keep the following in ming: Wherever God wants me, He will send me. He will prepare me for what lies ahead. He will not send me to do something I cannot handle.
One crazy thing that I noticed was that Houston is extremely multi-faceted. I was in some parts of Houston (Montrose and Rice Village) that bore a strong resemblance to the parts of Austin I love. Those places had a boho, hipster feel to them. I doubt I’m cool enough to live in those places, but living in the vicinity would be enough for me. There were so many places, restaurants, book stores, churches, etc, that I had never visited even though I am a Houstonian. I realized that living in the ‘burbs of Houston is not the same as living in the heart of Houston. I’m going to be sad to leave Austin, but I am more than excited to explore Houston.
Overall, I met a lot of great people that I look forward to spending Institute in the summer with. I think meeting them will make the summer training all the more enjoyable. The next two years of my life are going to be very transformative for me. I am interested to see how I mature as an individual.