After many technical difficulties, my blog is finally up and running. As an extremely brief introduction in case anyone I don’t know ends up reading this, I am: 20 years old (21 on Saturday), a University of Virginia student, a native of Charlottesville, VA, and a double major in history and linguistics.
I took my first PRAXIS exam last weekend (Mathematics Content Knowledge). It could have gone better, but I’m banking on the fact that I only needed to get about half of the questions right. Hopefully some of my guesses were good. Tomorrow is the first day of my last semester in college, which is beginning to make TFA, life, and everything else feel a lot more real. I have been telling myself for the last few months that I need to take it easy this semester. I have been planning on taking only 1 or 2 classes so as to give myself some time to just enjoy life. Somehow, I am currently enrolled in 17 credits. I think I need to find a happy medium.
When I started thinking about TFA today I got both really excited and also kind of sad. College and I have had a very up and down relationship over the past few years, so I never thought I would feel this way about it being my last semester. In one way I am ready to leave and to do something new. TFA is exactly what I want to be doing next year. There is no question about that. But after meeting with my advisor yesterday to talk about applying to graduate programs in a couple of years, I started to think about next year and how I will be the teacher instead of the student. As one of the nerdier people in the world, I love learning. I love being a student. I love going to class. So I need to start shifting my thinking a little bit. Just because I will be the teacher next year does not mean that I won’t be learning as much as my students (hopefully) will or as much as (if not more than) I am learning now.
Having been assigned to teach math, what I am most scared about is not the content or the test scores or anything like that, but it is translating my passion for learning and analyzing and discussing into the language of math. There is no question in my mind that I could get kids excited about studying history or English, but I am scared I won’t be able to figure out how to do this for math. I am sure in a couple of months when I actually standing in front of a room of students who are realistically only a couple years younger than I am and a couple (if not more) inches taller than I am all of whom I need to get to do their homework and participate in class this concern will fade into the background for a while. Right now, however, it is front and center.