Dear Teach For America,

In the long history of man, only a choice few have had the courage to say “No!” and demand that things be better. One of those people is George Washington Carver. Another one is you, Teach For America, because when it seemed like the entire education system was going to crap, you said “No!” and spilled your equality all over this country’s neediest pupils. Through your commitment to the three Cs—children, circumstance bettering, and commitment—you have bettered the circumstances of hundreds of millions of children in this millennium alone.

But enough about you. The real reason I am writing this letter is to tell you about me, Steve Etheridge, the number one candidate for acceptance into your program. Why am I the number one candidate, you ask? If it weren’t obvious from the large bag of Hershey’s Kisses I sent you (You did get those, right?), then sit back and relax as I give you the “4-1-1.”

Who could be a better candidate for repairing failures in the education system than me: a failure of the education system? (You see? I used the more colloquial “me” in that last sentence when I should have used “I”–a common, albeit telling, mistake.) As a tragic consequence of ineffective classroom instruction, I can easily formulate a comprehensive list of all the things that hold students back from obtaining their Graduate Equivalency Diplomas. Things like: one-on-one instruction, personalized assignments, tutors who are nerds, sticker-based incentives, more than six minutes of homework a night, unmonitored glue access, spinny chairs, pre-algebra, keeping track of attendance, algebra, my guy running out of Adderall at all the wrong times, insufficient Asians to sit near during algebra tests, et cetera.

Secondly, I have a strong love for children (not that kind of love!). Ever since I had my own kid, then had it taken away due to neglect and inadequate love, I have decided that loving kids is the way to go. Black kids, white kids, kids of “Latino” descent—as long as they are kids, or in some cases even very portable adults, I love them and want them to succeed. This is why I recently paid for several at-risk youths to go to Six Flags. Then once the bus dropped them off at the front gates, they had to rely on their own street smarts to find a way inside. Now that’s what I call empowerment!

This brings me to the third C: commitment. As you may have read on the FAQ section of your Website, Teach For America requires a two-year commitment of its teachers. Two years is a long sentence—practically a year and a half with good behavior—but it is a sacrifice I’m willing to make if it means changing just a single life. Naturally, I’d like to change dozens of lives, but I think one is a good goal for starters. In order to change that life, I am willing to do whatever it takes, even if it means changing that life in a negative way, such as convincing a young man he can make it as a novelist. But let’s hope it doesn’t come to that!

In conclusion, if the future truly is now, is there any reason why robots shouldn’t be teaching our children? I submit that there is not, Mr. President! Please consider all these words I have written, and if for some reason any of this is unappealing to you and you deem I’m not “the right fit,” please forward my application on to other, lesser countries I could Teach For, such as France, Canada, or maybe even Great Britain. Thank you in advance for your acceptance.


Steve Etheridge