DC Chillin

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
May 20 2011

One thing that worries me

A lot of incoming CMs starting blogs are over-the-top crazy enthusiastic about teaching.  Which is great.

But I worry about the confidence that many of these newbies seem to have.  There’s this mentality along the lines that “the only reason my students haven’t achieved is because their previous teachers have held low expectations for them.  By holding high expectations, I will singlehandedly change their life trajectories.” I feel like this is drilled down the throats of incoming CMs with Ms. Lora’s story, where the teacher that wants to mentor Ms. Lora implies one of the kids has been unsuccessful because he is dumb.

It’s great to have confidence, but I wouldn’t want people coming into classrooms thinking that they’re the appointed saviors who will automatically succeed where others have failed.

Bloggers, please bring that enthusiasm into the classroom.  Just don’t lose it when you discover that belief in the ability of all students to be successful is necessary but nowhere near sufficient to dramatically raise achievement.

5 Responses

  1. G

    Truer words have never been spoken (written in this case). The first few months in the classroom are going to b

    • G

      I had trigger finger…sorry!

      Anyway, as I was saying, the first few months in the classroom really opened my eyes to the reality that is teaching…all the good, bad and ugly (and there was a lot of ugly) thrown at you all at once. Confidence will take you far, arrogance will make you fall flat on your face…I’m just keeping it real.

  2. Amen!

  3. jlange

    Thanks for this post! I am excited to be a teacher, to be sure, but I’m also scared! I’ve been hesitant to blog about my frustrations and sound like a ‘negative nancy’ or admit to my fears, but maybe that’s okay.

    Best of luck! ^_^

  4. Gary Rubinstein

    Yes! Thanks for this.

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From DC public school student to teacher

D.C. Region
Middle School

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