After talking to others and many of my TFA pals (yes look I am social be proud everyone), I’ve gathered that thus far I’ve had an atypical Teach for America experience.

Most CMs hate institute. It’s known as six weeks of sleepless misery, and in fact there are countless blog posts and articles written about how to survive institute. Just google “how to survive TFA institute” and you’d think I spent the summer living in the 9th circle of hell.

I loved institute. Loved my school loved my kids loved my collab loved the structure.

Most CMs teach a class of 5-10 students at institute, often in a different subject or grade level than what they’ll be teaching in their region. So then, once they leave institute, they have classes of 30+ kids and they struggle with behavior management. They also likely now teach 5-6 periods of the same class a day, so in total they’ve got around 150-180 names to learn and papers to grade.

I taught 25-ish students Coordinate Algebra over the summer. So I should be better prepared, yah? Same number of kids, same subject, same grade level.

HAHAH no. My school has four, 90 minute class periods. I teach three of the four. I teach three different classes: Algebra 1, Math 1, and Probability & Statistics. Every night I will prepare three lesson plans for the next day – three different homeworks, three different tests, etc. Most of my friends (yes I have friends) have 1-2 preps. Like they might teach six classes a day, but it’s all biology and so it’s one lesson plan. They have one prep. I have three. THREE.

Also, my classes range in size from 8 to 13 kiddos. That’s all. They’re nuggets and I love them already. I’m so excited to have small classes – it’s just the total opposite of what I was expecting. I get to meet the freshmen this week at orientation! EEK what goobers.

ALAS so if you need me I’ll be busy googling “how to survive TFA life.”


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