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Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Apr 14 2011

In hiding

Save for my boyfriend and my roommates, I have been ignoring everyone for the last few days. I have been in hiding. I have 6 voicemails and a million and a half missed calls. Have you ever been so unsure and confused about something that you just can’t even pick up the phone to talk about it?

I passed my Praxis. I was shocked. I needed a 138-145 (NJ has score flexibility if your GPA is over 3.5), I got a 171. I saw the score and I was upset, to be honest– because I still don’t really know whether to believe **I** am qualified. And I passed by nearly 35 points. So, people much, much worse than me are passing– and that scared me a little. I was also slightly disappointed. At that moment, part of me wanted to fail. Part of me wanted an excuse to walk away from all of this because I am actually quite terrified. Every time something is about to happen in my life, I have this crisis of confidence and I just fold. I have held myself back from so much.

This feeling is connected to my North Star interview. Or, lack of interview. After planning a lesson, copying 500 pages worth of student packets, and and insane level of stress, I did not make it to my interview. I became ill, like– I couldn’t walk across my hallway to the bathroom ill. I don’t know what it was. Food poisoning? Stomach flu? Nerves? More than one of the above? Either way, I e-mailed the principal at 3AM and had to tell her I wouldn’t be coming… in 4 hours. I was so embarrassed and anxious. None of our interview information told us what to do if we couldn’t get out of bed on the day of our interview. I didn’t know if TFA would dismiss me (such dramatic thoughts, in retrospect). I have never been such an emotional and physical wreck. This is hard to admit, but I think a lot of it (even if mixed with something more legit) was nerves. I think I may have been making myself sick. I was so intimidated by the caliber of the school I was going to- for my first interview, my first ever lesson plan, my first time ever being in front of a classroom. I was putting so much pressure on myself, maybe I just cracked.

My nerves are still kind of shot. I can’t even really process what’s happening. I’m really confused. I know it’s not normal to be having such extreme feelings. I feel like everything has been moving SO fast. It hasn’t even sunk in that I got into TFA yet and all of a sudden there’s an interview on my plate before I have an ounce of training.

So, I’m trying to sort through things and figure out which feelings are real. In the meantime, I don’t feel like updating my family and rehashing the last 3 days in detail. I just hope I can get some perspective soon. It turns out they still want to interview me. On the 29th. The day before my next Praxis. With a whole new set of (yet undisclosed) objectives. I am worried that this is all going to repeat itself.

3 Responses

  1. Wess

    So you got sick, on the day of your interview. That’s all there is to it–doesn’t matter what caused it. Nothing to be confused about. The reality is, they rescheduled, which is awesome.
    As someone who has made herself sick because of nerves and anxiety more than once this year, I can say it’s not hard to do, and you can’t make yourself sicker by dwelling on it.

    As far as the interview goes–I know it’s hard to believe, but you really can rock it without knowing very much about teaching. All you have to do is decide to rock it. If you walk in having already made the decision that you are worth this job, having already sat down and visualized (literally) what it would mean to you to feel like you did a great job… you’ll have the swagger and no one will be able to stop you.
    Knowledgeable about teaching? Maybe no. But eager to learn and willing to make mistakes? Hell yes.

    Keep us updated.

  2. Leigh

    You’re not alone! I recently had an interview and completely choked, and I feel scared and worried as well, I think its all natural as graduation looms ahead, hang in there, you’re not alone–reading this comforted me a bit!

  3. Ms. R

    You’re definitely not alone! I’m the opposite and couldn’t breathe after I got done. I had knots in my stomach thinking about everything I did wrong or didn’t say. I also took my science praxis in March and freaked about the material (especially about the physics part) and found out I did way above average like you. Your praxis is proof that you’re totally capable of teaching the material and your acceptance into TFA is proof that there are people who KNOW you can do this! Good luck on your interview!

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