Institute is officially over. I currently am sitting at a terminal in the Atlanta airport waiting to board my flight for Chicago. The past five weeks have flown by. I went from unbelievably stressed and worried to calm, confident, and excited. Teaching is by far the hardest thing I have ever done. It’s amazing how you can prepare hours for a lesson and watch it disintegrate within 10 minutes of actually executing it. My roommate and I were talking on the way to the airport about how helpful and meaningful Institute was. We have both left it feeling very prepared as we head back to New Orleans. I believe I had amazing luck when it came to the TFA raffle. Not only did I get paired with amazing roommates who will definitely be a life-long friends, but I also got blessed with an amazing school staff at Cook Elementary. Every single one of them was completely dedicated to making all of us the best possible teachers. Although I definitely got annoyed at times about the amount of sessions and their length, inevitably they are the reason I feel so poised. My Curriculum Specialist is probably the most motivating person I have ever met. Her willingness to share such personal stories and experiences allowed me to see and realize the transformational change I can make. Also, it definitely didn’t hurt having a School Director who is a nationally recognized teacher and the TFA poster-child for making big gains. My corps member advisor was literally the ying to my yang. She was always calm and relaxed which helped me to take a deep breath and relax as well.
I could literally go on and on about the amazing experience I had at Institute but I’m about to board the plane so I’ll stop. As I leave Atlanta I definitely feel apart of a movement that has the potential to change the education landscape. Do I realize that sound way too optimistic? Yes. But I also realize that drinking the Kool-aid is a necessity if I want to become even half the teacher that my school staff was. I know there will be good days and bad days. I know that there will be days where I cry to myself, to my mom, and to my co-workers. But I also know that “the journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step”.