Welcome to Teach For Us. Welcome to Teach For America. Welcome to Kansas City. Welcome to Real Life.
About an hour ago, I officially accepted my offer to join the 2012 corps in Kansas City, MO. I’ve been offered to teach ESL (6-12), but I’ve been told that this could change.
The important thing is that I’m here. I’m Official. It seems surreal, in a good way though. Maybe I jumped the gun a little bit, because I haven’t even had a chance to talk to anyone in the Kansas City office (they’ve tried calling me, but I’ve been in class each time and my only free time to return their calls in the past 2 days have been in the wee early hours or late at night). Do I have my questions? Sure. I don’t think they’re anything the staff can answer though. They’re questions like–what are my students going to be like? Will I have my own classroom? (Some ESL teachers do, some don’t). What’s my apartment going to be like? Will I be living downtown? What’s it going to be like, you know…to be a teacher? Only time will answer my questions. But between now and June, when I journey to KC for the first time for my induction, I’m going to keep on my rose-colored glasses. I come from a family full of educators, and I’m a pre-service teacher myself (i.e. I start student teaching full-time this spring, and I’ll be a licensed English teacher in the state of VA by the time I graduate). So I’ve heard all the “horror stories.” They’ve never phased me. Why? Because this is what I want to do. Not for the next two years, but for the rest of my life.
I want to blog often, and with honesty. As a writer, I need this chance to align my thoughts, to vent, and to make sense of all of these awesome and exciting–yet wonderfully terrifying–things that are happening in my life. It’s also going to be a great chance to connect with other corp members who are feeling the same way as me. I started blogging when I was thirteen, and I’ve found that it only brings good things. Good friends, great communication and flow of ideas, and in general just a great opportunity to have your voice heard. I’m excited about TFA, I’m excited about Kansas City, I’m STOKED about my future students, and I’m excited to share my experience here.
Oh, and a little bit about the name. I mentioned I’ve been blogging on and off since I was a young adolescent–one of the first blogs I ever followed was “Wonderland Manhattan,” which was also a clothing line designed and operated by an NYU student. With a quick Google search I see that her site doesn’t exist anymore, which is strange to think about how long ago it must have been. But anyway, she had moved to Manhattan for college and fell in love with the city–it was almost ten years ago that I read her blog, but I’ll never forget the way she compared it to Alice’s adventures in Wonderland, where everything is a beautiful surprise–confusing at times, sometimes unfair–but always spectacular, hilarious and wonderful. I’ve never been to Kansas City before, but my family has moved around a lot. Every time we move, I discover something new and magical–about myself, and about my new home. I expect KC to be the same. I’m going to make it my own Wonderland.
And the tagline–yeah, I love the Wizard of Oz. I’m stoked about *practically* being Dorothy’s neighbor. Maybe a tornado will lift me off into Oz, but without the creepy monkeys.