Welcome to my lovely Teach for America blog. It is here that I will chronicle my time teaching in Chicago as a Teach for America teacher. I have been assigned to teach Special Education so I am excited to get started and get back in the classroom.
So I guess I should start this blog by giving you a little bit of my background and who I am. My name is Ben and I hail from the great state of buckeyes and ever-changing weather, Ohio! I graduated from college in 2012 with a degree and teaching license in secondary social studies. After I finished college up, I somehow convinced the U.S. State Department to give me money to live and teach abroad for a year through the Fulbright Program. After a year of living that adventure (which you can read about at myfulbrightadventure.blogspot.com if you’re interested in seeing what that was like!), I went down to work at a boarding school in the South where I worked in residence/student life. After deciding that I realllly want to return to the classroom and want to teach and live in an urban setting again (I did my student teaching in an inner-city, high needs high school), I decided to take my chances and apply for Teach for America. I found I was accepted this past January and shortly afterwards accepted my offer of admission and here I am as a 2014 Corps member!
I initially wasn’t sure about TFA for a while and I admit that I have analyzed it with a critical eye it in the past. However, I do think that good of the program does outweigh the negatives and I think it is a good fit for a person like me, someone with a passion and background in education. I am going to be using this blog as a way to record my teaching experiences in Chicago. I know that realistically I am going to be ridiculously busy this upcoming two years and there’s a good chance that I may not update this very often, but I am going to try my darndest to be a faithful blogger.
Last thing I want to do really quick is explain the title of the blog. I spent a very contemplative twenty minutes struggling to think of an apt title for this blog, even researching the titles of the many other blogs that are featured on the Teach for Us site. I eventually settled on Surviving and Thriving in Chicago. I know that these next two years will be a struggle and I will feel at times that I am literally just trying to survive and get through to the next day. I have taught in a high needs school before and I know how challenging and frustrating it can be. But I also know that it can be a rewarding experience. It is a place where you can truly make a difference in a person’s life and help the students find that path of success and thrive in a setting that is very challenging for many of them. I am anticipating that there is going to be a lot more thriving than surviving but I suppose only time will tell.
Alright I guess that’s it. There isn’t a tremendous amount to update you about since I haven’t taught yet. In fact, I’ve never even been to Chicago! But I’m going in like three weeks! I’m stoked! It’ll be for this job fair where hopefully a school will think I’m a pretty fantastic guy and have potential to be a great teacher and will hire me! We’ll see. If not then, than I will for sure later on in the year. Until then, have a good one!