Institute! I hear Institute sucks less now, which is good for all you people who are about to do it. I made friends early on with a couple of people who are almost as awesome at slacking as I am, and we determined that if it was impossible for us to both sleep and do all the assigned work, then it was impossible for Institute staff to both sleep and check all our work. Newbies out there, don’t take that as advice – for all I know, TFA is now staffed entirely by robots – but I’ll tell you what, I had quite a lot of unsanctioned fun. Of course, my version of fun includes things like “natural history museums” and “taking photos of unintentionally humorous signage,” but whatever, the point is, I was not particularly stressed out by the workload. The class I was “student teaching” (those are scare quotes, as opposed to the above quotes which are not scare quotes – I think I overuse quotes – quotes and dashes and parentheses and conjunctions and I have to stop this aside now) had me, three other CMs, and the actual teacher, so the amount of instruction I was responsible for was minimal. Since my tentative placement then was as a secondary ELA/reading teacher, of course at Institute I was responsible for elementary science. My advisor, straight-faced, assured me that the same teaching principals applied. Ah, TFA.
So here’s what I learned at Institute:
- How to write a lesson plan. I am freaking amazing at writing lesson plans to this day. Thanks, TFA!
- Wealthy people, like black bears, are more scared of me than I am of them. That one is a story for another day, maybe.
- I have terrible teeth. I guess I had never thought much about my teeth before, but you have to understand, I come from a place where people wear mullets unironically. I had never seen so many gleaming white orderly rows of chiclet-shaped chompers in my life. Did you guys know that people FILE DOWN THEIR PERFECTLY FUNCTIONAL TEETH AND THEN GET FAKE TEETH GLUED ON TOP OF THE NUBS? People do this. It’s called “caps.” There is apparently a less drastic version, called “veneers.” I mean, I’d been aware of braces, it wasn’t like I was raised in a cave, but Christ, I was unprepared for that revelation.
WordPress suggests “scare quotes,” “actual teacher” and “Institute I” for tags, and who am I to argue with WordPress?