As the title of this posts suggests, I recently found out a couple good things that deal with my writing. The first is that my short story, “Lux Nauta,” won an Honorable Mention in the Writers’ of the Future contest. I’ve actually had this news for a little bit now, but I couldn’t say anything since they hadn’t publicly released the results. While this is cool, it unfortunately doesn’t actually count as a publishing credit. Still, I got an awesome certificate and it is definitely the biggest market that has given me something other than a rejection.
The second news is that I’ve accepted a high school English teaching position in South Carolina for the nonprofit organization Teach For America. (TFA) I am incredibly excited about this opportunity because it allows me to use the passion that I have for writing and apply it in a way that can help others and keep me from starving to death. I do not know exactly what school I will be placed, aside from being located in South Carolina.
Just in case someone doesn’t know, TFA is a national organization that helps staff low-income public school districts with teachers. TFA wants to help bridge the education gap that exists between poverty-level areas and those with more opportunity. This involves placing their Corp. members (teachers) across the U.S. to ensure that every teaching position is filled. Many of the school districts are either extremely urban or incredibly rural.
In order to meet TFA’s minimum requirements I needed to have a Bachelor’s degree with a minimum 2.5 GPA measured by the graduating institution. Since I am finishing up my B.A. in English this winter, I decided to apply and possibly get a job lined up once I graduate. The online application doesn’t take too long, but the entire hiring process took about a month and a half. TFA’s website describes the process like this:
- Online Application – basic resume stuff, which I feel is just to determine if some meets the minimum requirements.
- Online Short Essay Questions -About a week after my initial application I received an email that told me to write a few short essay regarding some of their questions. I assume this is to get a brief glimpse of my personality, since I met their initial requirements.
- Phone Interview – According to the website, if someone does well with their essays, they will be invited to have a phone interview. This did not happen to me. About week after I submitted an essay, I got invited to attend an in-person interview, so I do not know if they stopped this practice, or they just really liked my writing.
- In-Person Interview – This interview takes all day. It starts out as a group interview, where each candidate must present a five-minute sample lesson. After this, the candidates must complete a few group activities. All of this is monitored by TFA interviewers. The second half of the day is broken into individual interviews similar to any other job interview.
- Acceptance – About a week after the interviews, I received an email telling me that I had been accepted. Before I make my final decision as to whether or not I will take the job, I will need to see what region and school I would be working in. I should receive this information in early November.
Overall, I am incredibly excited for this opportunity. I can’t wait to share my passion about writing with dozens of students. Since this is a long process and it does deal with writing, I figured I’d add this to some of the regular updates I do on this blog. If anyone is interested in learning more about TFA, I’d love to talk with you.