Passing in Philly

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jun 23 2008

Five for Now

There are several observations that need to be recorded.

Observation 1: There is a shocking amount of disorganization at the administrative level within the School District of Philadelphia. Today, I and other corps members were expecting to carry through with our respective scheduled interviews with our respective principals. Some cancelled. Mine came late and forced an impromptu group interview. The mantra of the day, “be patient and flexible” was said over and over and will probably never be forgotten by any of us…which I think is great and sad in a way. For some reason I think patience and flexibility will excuse the people who should be held accountable for children’s education from failing. Yet then again who am I to pick a fight with these people? And I know it’s not entirely their fault. It’s a huge mess and we all want the same goals to be achieved…I think.

Observation 2: There are several “mellophone players” (mellophonists?) doing this TFA thing.

Observation 3: “There are like forty of us!” I must have chanted this at least forty times today. I am referring to the disproportionate amount of highly certified secondary English teachers in this corps. Sadly, many of the schools are not looking to replace or fill an English teacher position. They are in more need of science, math, and social studies—even music. Many of us felt useless during a meet and great at the district office. The recruiting directors were clearly overwhelmed with English teachers from TFA.

Observation 4: Drinking and merriment ends before 12 now. We’re teachers. No one is really enforcing this rule. Rather, it’s our tired bodies pretending that 10 o’clock feels like the 2 o’clock push.

Observation 5: I think I will enjoy living in Philadelphia.

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