Reflections of a Researcher

Life is a journey that requires one to step back and reflect from time-to-time. I have been in a reflective mode for at least a month and would like to share the initial phase of my journey with you.

My dissertation was published in 2014 and focused on the lived experiences of Teach For America corps members who transitioned into the teaching profession. The unedited excerpt below from a 2013 journal entry captures my struggles as a doctoral student, researcher, and educator in a complex system. Hopefully, this piece will encourage a graduate student, doctoral candidate, or novice researcher to keep going, dig deep, and trust your gut- believe me, you are on to something!



Journal Entry Dated: December 15, 2013

Dear Journal,

As I analyze the data, I feel like maybe I have concocted all these theories in my mind. Like, maybe I am completely off base with my dissertation, thoughts, my everything. So, last night I struggled with a participant interview and as I wrote God said “contradictions”. TFA is leading as a public self and a private self. On the surface, they are doing extraordinary things for children of color. They are innovative, promoting reflection, and utilizing their mission to transform education for the good. I had even begun to believe it, but as I dig deeper a different picture emerges.  

History has proven itself to be a repeater in so many of these “new” reform initiatives. As for TFA, I am convinced something isn’t quite right but writing this up in a coherent and succinct manner is a challenge that I pray I master.