The MEGnitude of Change

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jun 10 2013

Our endings punctuated by others’ beginnings

This afternoon, as I browsed the Oklahoma section of the TeachForUs website, I found my feelings summarized in two consecutive blog posts: one entitled “Aaaaaaand it is over.” and another entitled “And so it begins!”

This past week, I lived in Induction Limbo. My surroundings were familiar: the OCU dining hall, the OKC Bombing Memorial, even the overflow seating at Chelino’s. In some respects, I felt like I was entering my own flashback, walking through my first moments and emotions as part of a TFA community. As a 2012 Corps Member, I knew that my place was to learn, to observe, to take it all in & let my brain digest all of this newness. My single priority was being present.

When I signed up to be a TTL for this year’s Induction, I hadn’t realized that my role would include an inherent duality: (1) usher the 2013 CMs into their TFA experience and (2) revisit my own experiences from the past year. During each session, my mind wandered to my own classroom, my own lessons, and my own mindsets. Taylor Delhagen no longer seemed like a “teacher on high,” but a man who consistently engaged in emotionally draining behavior management to discipline his students. The difference between “effective teaching” and “transformational teaching” no longer existed on a page, but as my own daily actions (or lack thereof). The concept of “microaggressions” no longer expressed others’ words, but included words that had been spoken in my own classroom.

Transformational teaching is an act of scaling — drawing from the macro-level to fuel micro-level actions. This week, my scale did not just zoom out and in but included horizontal shifts — from my eyes to those of incoming CMs. From our endings to others’ beginnings.

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