Hola readers, and welcome back to my blog! As promised, I bring you a post all about my first few weeks teaching. As some of you know, I accepted my first ‘big girl’ teaching job over the summer, and I now teach kindergarten through 8th grade students at a small, Catholic school. I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to word all of the emotions that I have felt the past few weeks, but alas I will just start writing, as that’s what I do with 99% of these posts!!
Where to begin?? I suppose the first day. I was SO, so, soooo nervous for my first day all leading up to the morning of. I got all my nerves out the night before by over-preparing for the morning. I had EvErYtHiNg laid out for the morning, a note to self not to forget my lunch, the whole nine yards. So when I woke up on Thursday, August 17th, I felt excited and prepared.
Now, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect on my first day, but I was sort of expecting some mass amount of chaos for whatever reason. I arrived to school SUPER early to lay out name cards, prayer sheets, etc. on each desk before I did my morning door duty, greeting each student as they entered the school building. I was feeling very ready to go. UNTIL…
I walked back to my classroom, and the 6th graders were waiting outside my door, not the 8th graders I was expecting and had prepared for. It turned out there was a last minute schedule change that hadn’t yet been communicated to the specials teachers. So after a quick little panic, I reset the name-tags and then invited the 6th grade into my classroom. Honestly, not a huge deal, but just a true testament to something I heard over and over again as advice for new teachers: expect the unexpected and be flexible!
Honestly after that moment, my first day went so, so much better than I ever could have imagined. I left school that day totally flippin’ exhausted, but totally exhilarated, and I had an inner peace that could only come from knowing, truly knowing, that I am exactly where I am meant to be.
Although I could sit here and detail each moment because I have cherished all of them, the really good and the really tough, I’ll end this post with a bulleted list of things I’ve learned through just my first few weeks in my own classroom. I know I have a longggg way to go, but I’m ready and eager to learn so that I can be the impactful teacher that I’ve always wanted to be. Without further ado:
- Comfy shoes are sooooo important
- There are really good classes and really tough classes, but each has their own redeeming qualities
- Being flexible and creative is essential
- Planning periods can be your best friend if you use them properly!
- I hear my own voice as a former student in a lot of the voices of my current students, and it’s the weirdest, coolest thing
- Having great coworkers is a wonderful thing (I’m very blessed in this department)
- You are gonnnna fail (I have, but I learned!)
- Kindergarteners are so much smarter than you think, and they have no filter – it’s amazing
- Any teeny tiny compliment towards my teaching is appreciated 1289483x more than any student, parent, coworker will ever understand — when you are a brand new teacher, it’s hard to know if you’re doing a good job or not
- Teaching IS tough, but 150% worth it
Now, I feared writing this post for criticism it might receive. I don’t really know what kind of criticism, but I’m still just so uncertain if I’m doing a good job – I want to do an amazing job. I know that all takes time. Maybe some long-time teachers are reading this thinking “Ohhh just you wait. You don’t know what’s coming”. And you’re right, I don’t always know what’s coming, but after having a moment today where I literally got *teary-eyed* just observing one of my middle school classes actually engaging in the activity I had planned, learning the material, and having fun doing so, I believe whatever is coming my way in the next weeks, months, years that I will be teaching, is something that I look forward to whether it be a moment of triumph or utter failure. (I am so sorry that sentence is so long, but I don’t know how to break it up so just roll with it okay thanks).
Thank you so much for taking the time to read what I had to say. I know a lot of my friends and family have been asking how the new job has been, and it’s just hard to say alllll of this in a text message. Obviously, lol. So consider this as my gigantic text message letting you know that I feel blessed to be where I am, and I’m excited for the future whatever that may bring. Love y’all. Feel free to leave a comment below!