Sunday, October 2, 2011

Times are Changing.

 There is a lot going on in our galaxy.  We have a lot of balls in the air, and we're waiting to see where everything lands. Nothing is certain, but ONE thing: next year will look nothing like this one. 

The first news was that I was offered an elementary education fellowship with DC Teaching Fellows, a teaching fellowship program based out of DC (I know, go figure).  Very similar to Teach For America, the program allows its fellows to receive training and certification while they are on the job, earning salary, and gaining classroom experience, while they teach in hard-to-staff schools (in case you're wondering, that usually means "low-income").  Admittedly, the prospect of no longer living from paycheck-to-paycheck (considering neither of us has ever been salaried) is a very inviting one.  Not to mention the full benefits, another thing that has as yet eluded us.  I know it is a difficult path, especially when you're coming in with little training to the hardest schools in one of the hardest districts in the country, but I am ready for a challenge.  Besides, DC would be a great place for Andy to be, as there are loads of non-profits based there.  There is a pretty major down-side to this, having to do with the timeline, which is virtually the only thing holding me back from being totally gung-ho.  (Details as they become available.) 

The second news is that I was also accepted to the M.Ed. program at Duquesne University here in Pittsburgh, with a bit of a scholarship.  Truth be known, my application to the school was definitely a whim, and was basically my "If Andy gets a job in Pittsburgh" contingency.  "Just in case."  School is definitely a less-appealing option, since it would COST money rather than EARN money, and then I'd graduate with the certificate, but little experience.  Besides, I think four degrees between us will be plenty for right now . . .

Lastly, I'm currently in the process of applying / interviewing with Teach For America.  I had my phone interview last week, and I felt pretty good about it, but I never know about these things.  TFA is definitely more competitive than DCTF, and carries with it more notoriety.  If I advance to the next (final) round, there will be an all-day interview, similar to what I did with DCTF, and I would find out about my status in early November.  I won't know about where they place me until I receive an offer (if I do, in fact, receive an offer), so there is some question there, as well. 

Andy will be done with school in April, which means that (other than the dear friends we've made here), there is nothing tying us down to Pittsburgh.  We are about to enter the next phase of our lives (so help us!). We've also discussed New York state, the Pacific Northwest, Austin, and Canada, among others. 

Anybody have any input? 

UPDATE: I did, in fact, make it to the final interview round with TFA (happy thoughts and prayers requested on October 20)!!!!  

Also, thanks for all your support and perspective on this.  In any case, it will be a challenge.  But I've decided that I am capable of doing hard things, and doing them well.  Making sure that every child has the right to a good education is something I believe in very strongly, so despite that things will be (I'm sure) much more difficult than I can imagine, I'll still be able to make it through.  


  1. Everyone seems to be going off to Portland lately. Evans brother loves it there. I myself, think Austin would be a better fit but only for selfish reasons.

    God knows where your going. Hang in there.

  2. Come live in Calgary! Or Portland, since that's, like, my hometown. Either way, I'd actually get to see you once in a while.
    P.S. - I sent you an email for your birthday, but I'm not sure I sent it to the right address... :/ Let me know how to stay in contact with you!

  3. I taught for two weeks in a "hard to staff" school and it was the most trying two weeks of my life. But maybe you are stronger than me :) Having taught for three years before that in more affluent and middle class neighborhoods may have just ruined me for helping poor kids. As long as you feel good about your decision, I'm things will work out. There is no One-size-fits all answer and you gotta do what you gotta do to pay the bills. Good luck!

  4. You know, I really think you belong in DC.... or maybe I just want to see you...

    Bren taught at a "hard to staff" school in DC for a while--she quit after a pretty short time. I think she was a lot more bugged by the way they ran the school than by the kids, though. But you should talk to her about it, because, well, I wasn't there.

    DC is known for having some of the worst schools in the country. A little daunting... But on the other hand, they really need good people to help out. It would be a real service. Good luck with all your decision-making! It's a fun and exciting time.

  5. Options, options! Change is so scary but exciting. Good luck making a decision. And congratulations on the couple of things you've been accepted to already!

  6. Good for you! Seriously. You are a better person than I am.