You Only Live Once

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jul 09 2011

Big Goal: Survive Institute…Officially completed

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”.

4 Responses

  1. Kurt (Community Manager)

    Congratulations! You’re post is featured on the Teach For Us homepage slider. Check it out at

  2. Bob Borczak

    …yes, grasshopper…..
    (old timers might remember this)

  3. Mr. Davis

    I’m looking forward to my Collab doing big things!

  4. Alice

    A’Serat, you were a blessing to us as staff and to your Ss at Cook. I am so excited to know that you will be recording your adventures here and look forward to reading them. :)

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