“I think about my first year of law school and my classmates that came straight from college. They were unbelievably stressed out at midterms and finals. I remember thinking, 'I just spent two years being responsible for the learning of 22 fourth graders.’ It put the stress—and the challenges we were facing—into perspective.” Julie credits her corps experience with building her confidence, her ability to handle adversity, and her passion for educational equity—skills that helped her excel in law school and succeed as a lawyer. It also makes her more credible to the families in her pro-bono work focused on special education students. Being able to talk about her teaching experience, and to have first-hand knowledge of what students are facing, is critical to her success.
Q & A
Though I always wanted to go to law school, my experience as a teacher made me really passionate about educational equity and that made me choose internships, volunteer work, and pro bono work that helps students get the opportunities they deserve.
It helped me mature and gave me the ability to handle challenges and stress. It gave me a much better understanding of other cultures. And it changed my views on poverty. Poverty looks very different in Texas than in Chicago or DC—it’s not as visible. I wouldn’t have understood that unless I worked there.
You may worry that teaching will take your career off-track, but it will put you on a better track. TFA will strengthen your passion for educational equity and that will impact your career in such positive ways. And, most importantly, it will make you a better person.