Suriving and Thriving in Chicago

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
May 05 2014

Where I realize cities are expensive…

Yeah it’s kind of a bummer.  So this year, TFA Chicago is doing something brand, spanking new and they holding a regional Summer Training rather than the traditional Institute the majority of TFA regions go through.  Part of the new configuration of it is how we can choose to live in a residential setting with other CMs or we can live independently.  I’m going the residential route as I have mentioned before.  However, I planned to still bring my vehicle since I didn’t want to just leave it in Ohio and have to make an extra trip to go get it.

Butttt then I realized how much it’s going to cost to simply park my car in the city.  Well, let’s just say it’s a bit more than I had originally thought.  I guess I knew it would be somewhat pricey, but I never really put a number on it, until I did some research and the best bargain would be something like $18.00 a day.  I have ZERO interest in paying over $500.00 to park my car in Chicago when I probably won’t be using it much during training since 1.) I’ll be super busy and it’s not like I’m going to be able to go on leisurely drives throughout the city and 2.) I’ll be living in the residential housing in the Loop (downtown) which is the center of Chicago public transit.  This makes it really hard to justify splurging for parking.  So now I have to think of how to get to Chicago initially and after that, how to get back to Ohio to bring my car with me.  I ultimately do want to have my car there and it’ll be a lot easier (and cheaper) to have it, once I’m out of the Loop and into my regular neighborhood.  I’ll probably have to take a plane or bus or something.  Ugh.

On the bright side of things, my interview last week went really well.  I got to talk to the principal and a few other staff members over Skype and I was feeling good vibes between all of us.  It’s definitely a school I can see myself teaching in for the next two (or more) years.  The principal is going to check in on some of my references and then we’ll take the next step from there.  I also have another interview tomorrow for another charter high school on the South Side.  This school is particularly high-performing so I’m really interested in learning more about them.  Both of these schools are pretty far south which is a bit of a bummer since I’m probably not going to live too far south so it might make for a longer commute.  I’m not planning on going all the way to the North Side, but ideally, I want to be about in the middle.  Just hope it won’t be too long a commute wherever I get placed.  But I suppose I need to worry about getting placed before I go off about the commute lol.

I do feel very lucky to have all of these interviews coming in though.  When I’ve done the job search last year, I applied to at least 30-40 schools before I ended up in the position I am currently in and I only went on two interviews (and of course, after I was hired I received two more interview offers).  Have to count my blessings that’s for sure!

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A chronicle of my time teaching in inner-city Chicago

Special Education

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