On Monday morning my unabashed confidence was finally met with validation. I was offered at job teaching middle school math at a charter school up in the South Bronx. My first contact with the school was a phone interview in the middle of May, followed by an on-site interview and demo lesson in June, and finally a meeting with the principal last week. Each step of the way I felt more confident that I would really fit in at the school and that I had impressed my interviewer. In fact, after the demo lesson I felt so good about my chances that I told three of my friends I would give them $100 each if I didn’t get the job! So you can bet that I brought my A-game for the final meeting with the principal.
More than the money on the line–which definitely would sting in my zero-income state–was my growing belief that this school was exactly where I needed and wanted to be. Their commitment to character development and strong conviction in community building really struck a chord. I increasingly realize that people do not operate in a vacuum, and it is the rare individual who can swim against the surging currents of circumstances. There is no immutable self that exists outside of context, no ideal identity that acts autonomously.
So this fall I anticipate being surrounded by a group of novice and seasoned educators whom I can know and be known by. And so, here are the three big things I hope to find in my peers this fall:
1. Emotional healthiness, beyond that, a love of love and a capability to love and be loved effectively and fully, and platonically, and the ability to be platonically affectionate as well. Base and typically communally present emotions like jealousy need to be recognized, addressed, and battled.
2. A desire, a hunger to grow and improve. A desire and hunger for life, other people, and improved experience.
3. An open mind.
But, for now, back to lesson planning.