Bringing Yourself to the Classroom

In TFA, I’ve heard people talk about how your classroom is a reflection of your personality, how you need to bring yourself and your leadership experiences to this work.

I’m skeptical of the idea. I feel, often, that my identities are not particularly helpful in the classroom, and I generally don’t see how they work with the classroom in any kind of purposeful way. I try to keep my life pretty private at school, just because I feel like it isn’t relevant and isn’t helping my kids learn.

For TFA, we have to do a student leadership project. I wasn’t particularly excited about this requirement – it felt like another thing piled on top of everything else going on at the end of the year. I collaborated on the idea with the other TFA teachers at my school, and we decided to make a video about the history of our school, because of the upcoming closure. When I talked about this with my kids, I framed it by saying this “Have you ever watched the news on TV? Do you know how there are the people who are on the news every day, the reporters who work for the news station? Do you know how they sometimes go and talk to regular people and ask them questions? Well, we are going to become reporters, and we are going to interview people we know about what it was like to go to our school a long time ago.”

We’re journalists. We’re reporters. We’re interviewing people. We’re telling stories about our community.

What was my leadership experience in college, which basically got me in to TFA?

I was the Editor in Chief of my college newspaper, the Western Herald.

You can only connect the dots looking backwards.