Suriving and Thriving in Chicago

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Apr 25 2014

Where I get stoked to move back to the Midwest

Alright the title is a bit of a stretch, but whatever.  I’m trying to keep the continuity of it all, but I don’t know how long that will last.  Anyways, I am just itching to get back to the Midwest and into a more urban/populized(if that’s a word) setting.  After nine months of rural living, I can, without a shadow of a doubt, say that it isn’t right for me at this point in my life.  I’m just craving to see people again and explore the city I live in, and it’s not so easy to do in such a small town.  I’m also really excited to be closer to friends and family back home.  Also on that front, one of my closest friends that I grew up with might be moving to Chicagoland with me!  It would literally be the first time in about ten years we are in the same area.  He’ll be in the northern suburbs, but hey it’s a lot closer than the current 14 hours that is between us.

I haven’t really heard back from any schools in terms of hiring me.  I did have those couple of interviews that I mentioned but nothing has come out of them.  The west-side (not east side like I wrote for some unknown reason) middle school that did the Skype interview chose another candidate. They never followed up and I saw on our little facebook group that someone was hired there so I think I can safely assume that I was passed on.  The traditional, south-side school never got back to me either.  I think they probably went with a more local candidate that was able to make it to the group interview.  I’ll admit, I thought I would’ve been hired by now since I do have more experience than the average TFAer, but I’m still keeping my head up!  In fact, I just landed another interview this morning with another charter school on the far south side.  It’s a high school which is much more in my comfort level and we’ll be doing a phone interview next week.

I’m starting to look more into neighborhoods that I may want to live in next year.  I’m thinking of trying to stick in the central area, maybe going slightly west.  My range is really from Noble Square to East Humboldt Park going up to Logan Square and as far south as Pilsen.  Somwhere in that vicinity I think will be good for me.  Most of my fellow CMs are looking at Lakeview, Lincoln Park and other northside neighborhoods, but I don’t know.  It’s more expensive up there, plus I feel like it isn’t quite the same diverse, urban experience that I’m looking for.  I want to live in a neighborhood that has a little more grit to it I guess.  One that really has a solid identity and I can become a part of.  Right now my top choices are Ukrainian Village, West Town, and Logan Square.  But it all really depends on where I’m placed too so I can have easy access to public transit as I have no desire to drive to school everyday.  I welcome any and all suggestions of where to live! :)

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A chronicle of my time teaching in inner-city Chicago

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