With quarantine halting all travel and vacation plans for this summer, I’ve gone through a highly accelerated period of decompression and am already onto brainstorming for the next school year. My brainstorm usually starts with reflecting on the past year, which inevitably makes me think about my first year of teaching, which got me thinking about my Teach for America training during the summer before that first year.
How the heck are they going to do TFA training this summer!? This article answered some of my questions.
While many people have very strong opinions about TFA’s fast approach to training (notice how the negative opinions usually stick out the most?), I personally enjoyed my entire TFA experience and was glad that the speedy summer training got me into the classroom so quickly. After all, just like I tell my students, you learn best by actually “doing” something.
Unfortunately for this year’s Corps, they will be doing their Summer Institute online. Institute days for me were split into halves: one half spent teaching actual summer school students in the classroom, practicing teaching with other TFA peers, or debriefing our teaching; the second half was then spent learning about specific instructional strategies, exploring big-picture education mindsets, and diving into our role in the social/political/cultural climate concerning the pursuit of educational equity. The in-person interactions I had that summer were invaluable. I can’t imagine starting without them.
However, let me suggest an intriguing positive possibility to the current circumstances: perhaps these new TFA teachers will have crazy, new, innovative, effective ideas for how remote teaching should look because they’re not yet used to the traditional in-person teaching routines.