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May 25 2011

Tentative Placement

What does it mean about me that I cried unhappy tears?

I am tetatively placed in Pre-K, about 5 hours from my ideal area. I can deal with the place, but I don’t know if I can deal with the grade. I wanted to teach high school or jr. high so badly when I applied, but I ended up with elementary. I have since made peace with elementary, and I was getting really excited.


I don’t think I have the grit for it. I know it is a challenge, just not the kind I wanted. I didn’t think of myself as a pre-reading, social, and general school skills kind of a teacher. Also, Pre-K teachers are often paid less (says TFA), and as of right now, it looks like only another TFA male is placed near me, meaning I will have to afford my own place and a different car. I was planning on keeping my aging truck for at least a semester, but I don’t think it will make it that far.

I know its wrong of me not to be super happy just to have a job, never mind to be a TFA teacher. I know pre-K kids need good teachers more than maybe any other age.

But…. I couldn’t help bursting into tears.

5 Responses

  1. naush

    :( I’m sorry that it seems you are so far from what you wanted. I don’t think there is anything wrong with your reaction – it’s hard to accept something different after you’ve gotten used to the idea of something completely else. But you did say it is tentative and seeing how much they’ve changed your tentative placement thus far who is to say they won’t again? And even if they don’t, give this a chance – you may come to love it! I hope this all works out for you in the end!!

  2. megh

    I know that seems like a HORRIBLY daunting placement, but it’s important to realize how valuable you will be in the Delta. Pre-k is not yet a state requirement in either AR or MS, and so the fact that a district wants you is incredible. The people who teach pre-k in TFA (talking about rising 2nd years and 3rd years) are invaluable, and they have done AMAZING things with students who otherwise would not have any resources. It’s closing the achievement gap almost before there is one (though you’ll still be able to see it…) I know it’s so hard to imagine it, but think of the difference you’ll be able to make in a child’s life to set them on the path to educational equality from the start- from kindergarten onwards they’ll have the chance not to struggle but to excel, and it will be thanks to your teaching. If they didn’t have a good pre-k teacher, they’d be behind, and that’s how the gap starts. That’s why we need good pre-k programs, and that’s why we need you!

    I know you might not think you have the fortitude for it, but trust me, you do. If you have the heart to teach high school, you have the heart to teach 4 year olds. All students are babies, all students need love, and I know no matter who you teach, you’ll do an excellent job.

    • Mary

      I second everything thing Meghan said, and will add that you will probably not in fact be paid less. TFA says that since generally pre-K placements are at daycares etc, but those don’t exist really in the Delta so you will be working for a district and get paid the same salary as the other first year teachers in your district.

  3. jlange

    Thanks for the comments! I still haven’t heard anything definitely, but I really do appreciate the support. :-) Thank you!

  4. J

    I’m a rising 2nd yr teaching K in the Delta and going along with what everyone else said, don’t stress just yet! We have some amazing Pre-K teachers down in the Delta and they are hired by school districts and get paid the same as everyone else :) Tentative placements are tentative so you may still be hired for Pre-K but get into your district and be switched to something else. As far as living by yourself, don’t count out roommates just yet! People get placed way into Institute and even after so there may be more female CMs near you. Plus 2nd years change housing and locations too so they could very well be 2nd years looking for new first yr roommates (I’m one of them :) ). I didn’t know if Kindergarten was right for me when I got placed and stepped into the classroom but I couldn’t imagine teaching anything else now!

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