Monday, October 14, 2013

TFA Corps Member Rebuttal

A TFA corps member with a GREAT rebuttal to another corps member’s lame, self-pitying, defeatist essay about why she quit TFA:

Tre Tennyson spent two years with Teach for America at an Atlanta school and is planning now to teach in China.

He wrote this piece in response to a former TFA at the same APS school where he taught who wrote about why she bailed out of the program a year early. Olivia Blanchard's "I Quit Teach for America" in the Atlantic has gotten a lot of attention, including here on the blog.

I predict Tennyson's piece will command equal attention.

By Tre Tennyson

Last week, I came across a provocative headline: “I Quit Teach for America.”

As an alum of TFA, it caught my attention. And when I saw the author’s name, I clicked eagerly. Contributor Olivia Blanchard and I were fifth grade teachers at Dobbs Elementary before she made the decision she details in her piece.

We went through the same training, taught in the same school, on the same grade level, with the same team, in the same year, and with the same group of kids – her in math and science, me in ELA and reading.

And yet our experiences could not have been more different.

Like every first year teacher – whatever his or her training– my early days in the classroom were challenging. But where these challenges struck Olivia as the product of the failure of her training or of some fundamental flaw in the group of kids she’d been dealt, for me they served as an opportunity to dig in.

 Subscribe in a reader