Friday, June 10, 2011

Embracing the Urban Possibility

Today was completely consumed by interviews. The interviews. The ones that determine our jobs for the next two years -- where, what age, what subject.

Going in, I was naturally pretty nervous, especially since a lot of the questions were going to be about my teaching methods, and to be honest, I don't know a lot about teaching methods yet. But embracing a positive attitude, I tried to pep talk myself with my strengths, etc. That went pretty well, until I got the list of schools that I would be interviewing with, and they were primarily for the Birmingham area -- highly urban. Very much an inner-city school district.

Crashing waves of panic.

What? I've been preparing for rural!

That took a bit of time to process. But in the end, I think I can do it. It will be harder and take more time for me to adjust. I'm less comfortable in an urban environment than in a rural environment when it comes to teaching and understanding the key factors of poverty and key players/stakeholders in those communities. However, I'm capable. I can do it. And I'm actually really excited about the kinds of projects that I might be able to do in an urban area, things that aren't necessarily doable in rural areas.

Overall, it's just an exercise in more flexibility for me. Lots and lots more flexibility. And considering I won't really know what my job placement will be for up to another five weeks, I'm definitely going to need to practice that constantly. Maybe I'll write "FLEXIBILITY" in giant letters across my notebook. Wouldn't hurt to keep reminding myself -- especially since ultimately, I'm not here for me. I'm here for the children of my future classroom, wherever that may be.

On a more positive note (which is important right now), I am really loving the follow corps members in the BamaCorps. Love them. They are all incredible people from very diverse backgrounds (from all over the United States) who have come to bring their specific skills, interests, and talents to teaching. For example, today I talked to someone who one day wants to design educational video games and who has innovative ideas of ways to teach math in his classroom that he'd already like to implement. So cool and so different -- and so necessary to have that diversity of interest here. Just another way to make the corps stronger.

And we do have fun together. Yes, we do. Even though it's stressful, everyone remains optimistic and supportive, and I am excited to belong to this community and to have these people as my coworkers and peers. I really couldn't ask for a better set of people with which to spend two years.

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