Wednesday, November 18, 2009



Daughter #2 is a sophomore in college this year. She is pretty sure that she wants to teach kindergarten after graduation while working toward her Masters. Eventually she wants to be a high school guidance counselor. Her own guidance counselor was very special to her and made an indelible handprint on her life.

She is looking into the Teach for America program. We’ve been texting, emailing, phone chatting and web-camming to discuss the pros and cons when it occurred to me………..*my lightbulb moment*.

Why am I wearing out my feeble brain on matters about which I know nothing. Let’s face it: If you want the best cornbread recipe…..I’m your gal.

You need the words to the Wrigley Spearmint Gum jingle from 1967… me. Care to discuss just who will win this season on Dancing with the Stars……I’m there.

Career decisions…… so much.

Let us not forget that I got my M.R.S. degree right out of high school. I didn’t so much select a career as happened upon one.

So tell me, why should I prattle on with my pseudo words of wisdom when I have all of you out there to help. I may not have gone to college but I am lazy resourceful. I know smart people when I meet them and you people are SMART! Not only that but many of you are teachers. You just might have some personal experience in this area. So tell me, (and D2 because she stalks my blog) what do you know about the Teach for America program? What would you advise a young woman with dreams of making a difference in the hearts and minds of young people? Have you heard of this program? Do you know anyone who has experienced it? Come on, now…..don’t be shy. Tell us what you really think.

I will be eternally grateful for any insight you might provide. And the best thing is that if you’re wrong, she’ll be mad at you, not me.

Smart Mouth Broad


Mike said...

Well being that I know nothing about the subject, I would like to say that she is very pretty and drives a really cool car! I may not have been a lot of help, but I will undoubtedly make her happy with my comment!!! :)

injaynesworld said...

Can't help, but she is a lovely young lady and I wish her well in her future. Plus I like the area where you live and please send cornbread. Not the recipe. The actual bread.

only a movie said...

I do not know much about Teach for America, but I do know (a lot) about teaching in urban, high-need schools.
I'm not sure what the benefits are of going the TFA route.
I do know that it is generally more competitive if you are only certified as a regular educator. My initial certificate was elementary ed grades 1-6. Because I student-taught in an inclusion setting, I had enough experience to be hired as a special educator for my first job.
Being dual certified (special ed, or reading, or school counseling) is always helpful for elementary levels.
It is very difficult to manage a large classroom and continue on taking grad school courses while teaching (if she goes the guidance route).
If I did it again, I would go to school for 5-6 yrs, and get the Master's over with. Grad school can be a drag (especially in your 40s. ahem.)
Hope this helps, D#2!

Anonymous said...

i don't know anything about that program but do know my stepmom has been teaching forever and a day- and you have to love it like she does...i know she's made a difference in many people's lives- she made a difference in mine because she was my teacher!

Jan said...

I've never heard of the program, but I'll do what I can to find out about it - if I know one thing about myself, it's that I'm a MARVELOUS researcher.

What I DO know is that you have two of the most beautiful daughters I've ever seen.

Liz Mays said...

I know absolutely nothing except that your daughter is beautiful!

Lori said...

I swear the older your daughter gets, the prettier she gets. But, that's not what you asked is it? I don't know anything about this but will ask my daughter, who is a teacher.

midlife slices said...

uhhmmm....I got nothin.

Good luck!

Twenty Four At Heart said...

I come from a family of teachers, but I, personally, no nothing. Aren't you happy I commented? But your daughter IS beautiful, isn't she? Think of all the little boys who will have crushes on the teacher. How cute!

Joanna Jenkins said...

I've only ever heard great things about Teach for America. They work in the Los Angeles school system and seem like high energy young adults that interact well with the students. Not sure if that helps but it's what I know.

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

D1 sounds a lot like my daughters. When you wrote that she had kicked someone off the property for stealing at your garage sale...I burst out laughing.
Sounds exactly like what Erin would have done. Erin is D2, and...also a highschool councelor.
She graduated from URC Californa, went on do her two years of inner city teaching, transferred to a high school near home and has been there ever since. While teaching she went on with her schooling and now has her Masters. She loves counceling..but sees a lot of sadness, but I know it is rewarding to her. She lives her job and those children are her life!
Her picture is somewhere on my blog, taken with two of her sisters. I have four daughters.

If I can remember I will talk to her on Thanksgiving about the Teach for America program. She may have gone a different route but still know about it as she councels seniors..

Arkansas Patti said...

Great way to shift blame. I know nothing about it so I can't be your whipping girl. Sorry.
Sounds like D2 has a good plan. You go girl.

life in the mom lane said...

Tell your daughter to look into the certification requirements for the guidance position- many schools now want highly qualified candidates for the positions. If she gets her certification in elementary ed. and then her masters in guidance will actually be able to become a guidance counselor @ the senior high level? I am a speech therapist @ a senior high school and my certification is K-12... but I would hate for her to go through all 4 years and graduate then come to find she would only be able to do guidance @ the elementary level... My suggestion- have her talk to her advisor and be specific about what she wants to do and what certifications/degree does she need to get there.

Deb said...

Sorry, can't help you. I got my M.R.S. right out of High School too with a minor in M.O.M.. It's served me well.

Maureen@IslandRoar said...

Don't know about that program. My niece is a teacher and got her masters on line, which I know is becoming very big among teachers. There's gotta be someone out there who can hook you up with some good info....I'm sorry it's not me.
And everyone is right; she's so pretty!

Unknown said...

Great idea to seek help from the professionals and there are so many here, in blogland!
That's one reason you're such a good mom!

Brian Miller said...

ok, so i have nothing intelligent to add other than i think teaching and counseling are noble professions and i wish her all the luck. the kids need all the love they can get.

rxBambi said...

I've heard of the program, but honestly I dont know enough about it to really say. One of my friends kids was looking into it, I wanna say they spend 2 years teaching in rural schools where they are having trouble finding qualified people. But I'm not sure.
Tell your daughter to be a pharmacist instead :)

jeanmac said...

Sorry that I can't help but I'm sure lots of readers have suggestions.

Beth said...

I'm not very familiar with Teach America - but I can tell you that having a counseling degree will make your daughter better able to handle the issues she will face with her students. The best school counselors were teachers first - and that will help. Being a kindergarten teacher is a hard job but it is so rewarding! She must have a giving nature (like you...).

I'd recommend that your daughter volunteer in a classroom or for an after school program. It will give her experience and introduce her to key people who can later help her get a job. While skill is important, it is still important to know the right people.

Tell her good luck! She is going to have a blast.

Anonymous said...

my caveat tends to be "when you put you heart in it, it'll take u anywhere"


Ms. Chun said...

Hey, I'm back. My neice that worked for Teach for America loved it. But it also made her realize she did not want to be a teacher.... She going for her masters in library science...books over kids I guess.

BTW Daughter's "if I don't get a career in music" back up plan is to be a Kindergarten teacher. She is doing an internship this semester.

Mrsupole said...

I am gonna get my older sister on this subject and see what she knows. One of her stepsons is a teacher but I am not sure if he did that program, and sis loves research. He taught overseas in Romania and I am not sure what program it was under. I think the Peace Corp. It's been a while.

Will check in again. Though I am afraid of some stalkers, D2 is the only stalker I would encourage.

God bless.

Joe Todd said...

My sister has been a teacher for forever. I'll ask her what she knows.

Unknown said...

Daughter #2 is pretty. Good luck to her studies! :)

TONY LETTS said...

I know zero about the TFAP
I know plenty about special education - now that makes a difference

Unknown said...

I personally know nothing about teaching, like many of the other commenters (got my M.R.S right after high school and within 3 years went back for a degree in P.A.R.T.Y. G.U.R.L.), but my DIL has been teaching 2nd grade for almost 5 years now I think, and she loves it. And the lil boys always have a crush on her because she is cute. She went back to get her masters a few years ago with the goal of someday being principal. And now my son has gone back to school to get HIS teaching degree too. So they can both have summers off together. There's the perfect reason to be a teacher, huh?

And she IS really pretty, and she does drive a very cool car, like Otin said. :)

Ace said...

I am worried about her getting a job teaching Kindergarten or even elementary school. If her end game is to be a guidance counselor, then her main goal is to get her feet in the door. She should go into special education. Schools always need special ed teachers. After landing this job, she can then work toward a guidance position.

Ask any waitress or day care worker what her degree is in and it will probably be elementary ed.