I’ve accepted the fact that I won’t be teaching English like I had envisioned. Since high school, I’ve had the desire to bring things like Shakespeare, haikus, and writing composition to my classroom. Years ago, I wrote lesson plans (albeit amateur ones), I made a list of novels that I wanted to teach to my class, I wrote journal prompts–ok, you get the point. I did a lot of stuff to prepare for the position I was sure that I would be granted, including majoring in English Language and Literature. Much of my volunteer work centered around reading and writing, including when I taught creative writing in a men’s prison. I conducted research with a professor in undergrad about Romanticism in past and present literature. Short of publishing a novel, I couldn’t have screamed “I wanna teach English!” any louder on my application. I’m not listing my accomplishments to brag, but to show that I freaking love English–so much so that I’m going to permanently ink my body to attest to the fact. Yep, my next two tattoos will be quotes from famous writers.
So with all of that being said, I felt both surprised and disappointed when I was assigned to teach French. I also wondered what the heck TFA was thinking. I’m fluent but very out of practice, and since I had tested out of the language requirement in college, it’s not like I had any French credits to show that I was ready to put on a beret and go teach kids some good ol’ francais. I still love the language, and the French motif going on in my apartment is nothing short of nauseating to any non-francophile. However, this was not the plan. I wanted to be a Freedom Writers/Dangerous Minds/Dead Poet’s Society type of English teacher.
I know I shouldn’t kvetch about this. Getting into TFA is a really big deal, and I can (and plan to) change students’ lives no matter what I teach. And, although it took a few weeks, I became really excited to be a foreign language teacher. But deep down, I still want to instill a love of prose to my class. After TFA, who knows? Maybe I’ll get to do it then