In nine days, I start Induction in Newark, NJ. So many feelings.
In all honesty, this is the first time I’m moving away from home in any permanent sort of way. Going to college only a 20 minute drive from my family was incredibly convenient. Even though I didn’t go home every weekend like some people who lived close, I knew I always had that opportunity, and there was comfort there. Compared to other CMs, I know I’m not going that far from home at all. Newark is about an hour and a half away from my home, given traffic is okay. I won’t have the ability to just run home to get something or stop in for dinner like I’m used to. It’ll be more similar to my experience studying abroad.
I’m also still interviewing for positions at schools. I have one interview tomorrow, and I’m still waiting to hear from two schools who indicated that they were interested in meeting me for second round interviews following the May interview fair. I think I would feel more confident if I knew for sure that I had a placement. I want to start embracing my community, specifically my school community. So many of my teacher friends (TFA and otherwise) have been talking about their schools for next year, and I’m jealous! I’ve also been waiting to find out what school I’ll be working at before I start doing any real-deal apartment hunting.
Specifically regarding Induction, though, I’m psyched! After four years as an RA, I’m really glad that my TFA experience is going to start with me living in a residence hall. Half “comfort blanket” transition-helper, and half guilty pleasure “I just love dorm living.” I can’t wait to meet my roommate and suitemates (6 of us total). I really wonder if I’ll know any of them already from the interview fair or the on-boarding calls. I’m also psyched about the content of Induction. I’ve been reading about others’ experiences in Induction in other regions, and it seems like a lot of the leadership development and team-building work I have done in other trainings, only with a TFA/teaching twist. The student affairs nerd in me can’t help but be excited.
Institute… gives me butterflies. I just can’t tell if they’re the good kind or the bad kind yet. I can’t wait to go through more structured training through TFA and get the chance to get back in the classroom. I know it’s going to be a time of amazing growth for me, personally and professionally. It’s just that the rumors about the intensity of the training (especially the lack of sleep) have me stressed out. I’m trying to keep an open mind and take the advice of some TFA alums that I’ve found online–other incoming CMs, I’d recommend reading this blog post.
One last note: I’ve successfully completed all of the on-boarding work, including reading A Chance to Make History and Teaching as Leadership in their entirety, except for ONE THING. I haven’t written my Story of Self. Or rather, I’ve started writing at least four different versions of my Story of Self, but I haven’t been able to complete one [that I like; that I want to share with a bunch of strangers; that I feel actually represents why any of this matters to me; etc.]. I feel like I don’t have a transformational story that explains why I want to teach. I wanted to be a teacher before I experienced any of the larger obstacles in my life that helped make me who I am. I think I need to reflect on it more before I try writing again.