This post may get kind of long, so I will try to keep it as short as possible. Future posts will, hopefully, occur more often and have a bit more detail! I just finished my first week of Institute in Houston, and holy moly what a week it was.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. In case someone other than my close friends/family is reading this, I should probably introduce myself. I’m Laurey, a 2013 corps member of TFA. I will be working in the Rio Grande Valley this fall (teaching middle school English), but am spending this summer in Houston for Institute (training). I grew up in MD/VA, and have been at the University of Texas for the past four years (Hook ‘Em!). I’m so excited to be starting this amazing journey with Teach For America, though I’ll admit it is daunting facing two years of a difficult, though incredibly rewarding, job.
After a week of “Induction” in the Valley last week, I packed up my car and drove a lovely six hours to Rice University, where we are living during Institute. I have to say I am still incredibly impressed with how well everything ran on move-in day. Even though there were nearly 900 people arriving all within the same couple-hour time span, things ran so smoothly! The past week has been incredible meeting so many new people and really diving deep into discussions about the educational inequality in our country. The other half of the week has been dedicated to learning how to write lesson plans, and preparing for the first day of summer school teaching this Monday.
While here, I will be co-teaching a 9th grade English class. It’s been a whirlwind of an adventure getting re-acquainted with high school English terms and story analysis. But I have a great co-teacher in my classroom who has been so helpful in getting through everything. The best is that this girl, whom I only just met four days ago, turned out to be the college roommate/friend of one of my co-workers from a summer camp I worked at in college. Small world, no?
To wrap this up pretty quickly, before I get into some day-by-day posts, week one has been insane. I’ve learned so much in only a few short days, and I really feel like I have been here for way longer than five days! They definitely aren’t joking when people say Institute is tough. I’ve already had a couple nights of less than 5 hours of sleep (which, for me, is equivalent to no sleep at all), and I’ve been stressed beyond belief trying to learn these new concepts. But I am still so incredibly excited to get in the classroom on Monday and start putting all I’ve been learning to the test! It will be difficult, for sure, but it will be fun.