What surprised Johannah most about her time in the corps was the role that community plays in being a successful teacher. Teachers have a significant role in each student’s life both inside and outside the classroom. She learned that it’s important to let students know that you care by getting involved in the school community, reaching out to parents, and attending social events. It shows that you take your responsibility very seriously and that you believe in them.
Q & A
In college I was planning to be a civil rights lawyer, but then I started a staff fellowship at TFA. I wanted to do something at 23 that could transform both my own life and do some good in the world. My mom was a teacher and loved her profession, and I thought it would be a challenge worth taking on so young in my life.
I learned that every single student—even one who is quiet and may appear uninterested, or who may act out in class—wants to be successful and can achieve amazing things if you show them that you genuinely believe in them. That is a beautiful and powerful thing. We have to believe in our students’ abilities.
It is a transformative experience. I’ve met my best friends through TFA, and have had incredible professional development opportunities through TFA. But it’s not about you. You should do it because you value what teachers do, and you want to take on the incredible challenge of teaching children with tremendous possibility, and change their lives through the power of a good education.