Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Countdown: Eleven Days Until Summer Institute

I arrived in the small town of Seward, Nebraska late this morning. After meeting with a few friends to say hellos/goodbyes I set up camp for the day at a local coffee shop called Panama. Setting aside the rest of the day for Pre-Institue work I grabbed my headphones and got to work.

Teach For America is such an interesting program. With their goal to end educational inequity - the reality that in America, where a child is born determines his or her educational outcomes and life prospects. TFA works with a great sense of urgency to build the movement to eliminate educational inequity by enlisting the nation's most promising future leaders in the effort. Their vision is that one day, all children in this nation will have the opportunity to attain an excellent education. (http:///

It seems that I am one of the leaders that has taken up the two year challenge. In the next two years I will be a teacher in a lower-income community in the Mississippi Delta. Knowing I will be a teacher and corps member in TFA, I am beginning to get a little nervous about spreading my wings so far from home. While currently listening to audio podcasts about TFA corps member experiences as part of my Pre-Institute work, I feel like I am a state of the in-between. Feelings of fear and excitement, inadequacy yet peace come from being in this place of what is familiar to what is so unfamiliar.

I will be leaving Nebraska on June 7th. Making the 14 hour drive down to Mississippi in two days by myself. Knowing that the next few weeks are crucial for preparing for the next step in life as well as preparing for Summer institute- which has a reputation of being the hardest six weeks I will experience in the program - I feel strangely ready. I know that there is nothing in me that is ready to be pushed out of my comfort zone, yet I know even more so that there is a God that has gone before me and has prepared the path for the next few years. I feel I am as ready as I can be. Not to mention a certain peace that comes with the pepper spray my dad just gave me yesterday, "just in case."

I will try to keep you posted on a weekly basis. This is my first attempt at a blog so hopefully it will be interesting. I know I will not be able to perfectly paint exactly what happens while I am down south, but hopefully this will shed some light on my experiences, failures, lessons, and triumphs. Thanks for stoppin' by!

Here is my schedule for the next few months:
  • June 7-8: Drive down to Mississippi
  • June 8-11: Induction (which means I will be learning about potential school districts and getting settled into Delta State University where I will be staying in the dorms for the next six weeks)
  • June 11: Annual Interview Day - Pray for me :)
  • June 13-July 16: Institute (where I will be learning what Teaching as Leadership means - TFA's game plan to eliminating the educational gap and will be teaching summer classes)
  • July 18-19: Orientation (when I learn where I will be placed: town specific)
  • July 28-29: Orientation II- MS(I will find out an exact location/placement/teaching offer)
  • August 5-6: Orientation II - AR
As early as Aug 2 (MS) -Aug 9 (AR)