A friend of mine recently was offered a slot in a NYCTF-like program, and asked me about my experiences in the Fellowship here. Well, as you can imagine, that was one long e-mail in response. I tried to be circumspect, fair, and honest. He's not the first person to ask for my input about the Fellowship, so he's not the first person to whom I may have issued the tiniest of caveats emptor.
Nevertheless, he asked one important question: am I happy? And, when I thought about it, and I reminded myself that at the heart of my job lies teaching and (yes) caring for children, I remembered that the answer is, I suppose, yes. I am happy being with the kids. When I have a chance to do things I believe in with kids I believe in, that's a great day, corny though it may sound. I think caring for the kids and liking them can, in many ways, help us get past all the other horse manure that comes with the job.
So that's what I told him, in a nutshell. I think it's fair warning--not just about the horse manure, but about the unexpected heartbreaks, frustrations, and joys that come with the children themselves.
Please be aware, if you are outside NYC, that NYC Educator and our colleagues and I are currently on winter recess, which surely explains the rosy and wistful tone of this post. I daresay you can check back here at this point next week for a markedly different mood.