One of the great things about keeping a blog or really any kind of journal is that I can give myself a pep-talk but disguise it “social-networking” or “self-expression.” Here’s today’s pep-talk… err I mean blog post.
Throughout induction and institute, my peers and I have had a running joke about who is and who isn’t “drinking the kool-aid.” You know, the TFA kool-aid. Embodying the core values, the power of the self fulfilling prophecy, the urgency of our community’s need, etc. It seems like everyone on staff is ready to dish out the kool-aid 24/7. Institute and induction are basically an all-you-can-drink kool-aid fest.
That’s all fine by me, because I am an avid kool-aid drinker myself and have been ever since being taught by a CM alum in the ninth grade. So, I’ve really liked being around other drinkers of the kool-aid (DOTKA, for short). However, I recognize that for many of fellow 2011s, it was a little too much kool-aid.
Now that teaching has begun, I realize that calling these beliefs “kool-aid” does not nearly do justice to how nutritious they are.
Mid-way through the first week of lessons, I have started to notice two camps amongst my 2011 cohort: those who are discouraged, and those who are determined. Admittedly, there will likely be some flip-flopping over the course of institute. Furthermore, there have been times where I myself have felt both discouraged AND determined.
But the whole point of this post is that it seems to me as if all those who could be grouped into the “determined” category… are drinkers of the kool-aid (DOTKA’s). Not that DOTKA’s have necessarily been more successful. I certainly have not. It’s just that there’s something in that kool-aid that makes you keep going (high fructose corn syrup?).
I think my lesson today is a good example of that. I struggle to envision a way in which my first day of teaching at institute could have gone worse. Two of my students were crying by the end of class, I had to separate 2 separate groups of students for hitting each other, and only got 2 of my 11 students master the day’s objective. I failed my kids in almost every way.
But, even though I teared up at least three times (and counting?) today, I’m still drinking the kool-aid.
I’ve heard that if you’re stuck on a desert island, you can sustain yourself on only watermelon for upwards of 3 weeks. If institute is a desert island (and here in ATL it’s definitely hot enough to be) then the kool-aid is my watermelon. The kool-aid gives me the motivation and the tools to persevere, so I’ll keep drinking it til my lips turn blue.
To all my fellow DOTKA’s- Cheers.