Monday, May 05, 2008


With grad school.
As of Saturday, I'm officially done, and graduation is May 21st.
As a final activity we had to fill out chart paper with "things we would take with us" and "things we'd leave behind"....not from grad school, but the TFA experience....from learning to be a teacher, a New Yorker, and....well....a grown up.
Some were funny, some were serious, and some gave rise to this knot in my throat that is still there when I think about the last day of school in June.
I looked around the room at people I'd known for the last 2 years. We came in thinking we could change the world, that we knew everything about urban education, and that nothing could shake us as people. I think all of that was shattered within our first week as teachers.
We were shaken, proved wrong, questioned, and and made responsible for some of the toughest kids you'll probably ever meet - the special education students of NYC's public schools.
We came in as future accountants, lawyers, investment bankers, and politicians. We're leaving as teachers. Even those of us that aren't staying in education can't help but look at the world as an advocate. "My kids" is the way we begin every other sentence, even though very few of us have any biological children.
This is not the end, but the beginning of lives changed, not just for us, but for our students.
We've made a difference. Could the impact have been bigger? Yes. Could we have been better? Yes. Is there room for improvement within TFA? Yes. But are my kids better off because I was their teacher? I hope so, because I definitely am. That's what I'll try to take with me....that....and the privilege of getting to know 13 of the most resilient people I've ever met.


Julie said...

Congratulations Julie! As a girl who isn't crazy about more college, I'm so happy for you that you are done with grad school. And pretty impressed too:)

Deidre said...

Hi Miss G,
I'm interested in cross-posting this post on edwize, the UFT blog. Please contact me through our blog's form at

the teacher said...


I am jealous as I am only half way through my Masters program. But I have to say you are far more disciplined that I am as I am doing all of mine online. I could not imagine the type of dedication it takes to go to an actual class every week along with everything else that comes with teacher.

You rock!!

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