This afternoon, I met with a recruiter and former corps member of Teach For America. Turns out he actually taught in Houston, which was a neat coincidence. Anyway, I'm not exactly sure I got much out of the meeting--I didn't really learn anything I didn't already know about TFA, though I did get to hear a little of this guy's personal story.
But, it's likely I also just wasn't open to getting much out of the meeting. See, I don't think I'm a good candidate for TFA. That doesn't mean I don't think they'd hire me, but I'm not a great candidate because I am not interested in teaching.
Or is that just what I've managed to convince myself of?
My job with Citizen Schools this summer was a fantastic experience, largely because it showed me that there are ways to be involved in education that don't involve being in a classroom. That really excited me, as I'm interesting in working in education but have few inclinations to be a teacher. As I said above, this is because I'm just not inclined toward it; i doesn't particularly interest me and I think my talents lie in other areas. But part of me does wonder: am I just kidding myself about that? Have of convinced myself such because I am just so scared of teaching?
I am scared of teaching. I admit it. The short stint of tutoring I did my first year of college was terrifying (and I didn't go into the experience expecting to be overwhelmed). One on one, I'm okay, but a classroom?
The question I need to ask myself is: should I just get over this fear and do it anyway? Do it because it would be good development for me, especially if I want to work in education, do it because you can really see the impact you make on students? Are the reasons I have for not doing it real reasons or just excuses because I am intimidated, and even if it is just that, is that a good enough reason not to do it? The teachers I've always liked and admired the most are the one who obviously loved what they did--if I force myself into this, is that fair to my potential students (or will I come to love it, and what if I don't)?
I'm not applying this year, either way, so I've got some time to answer these questions (or to keep putting off answering them). For what it's worth, I really do think I have stronger areas and skills, skills that I can put to use without also feeling nauseous and going through extensive training. I just...can't make a pros and cons list and actually adhere to it (I'm too good at justifying my way out of things). I can't really trust a recruiter to help me with the decision, because of course they'll think I should apply (and the current corps members and TFA alums I know probably won't be much better).
Is my gut feeling right? If I have to deliberate this much about it, do I already have my answer?
And which answer would that be?