5.23.2012

Reflections on Year One

May. It’s May. I have learned a lot in 187 days 5 hours and 6 minutes (not that I’m counting) of teaching.  There is constant change, I have learned that assuming-- well you know what assuming does, and that having back up is the only way to survive. 


The constant change is astonishing to me. I loathe change, I abhor having to stray from the perfectly planed out path. Honestly, I have been especially impressed with myself that as I pulled into the parking lot the day of my first formal evaluation and changed my lesson plan, IN THE PARKING LOT. I whooshed in the building, fumbled for my keys to unlock the door, and hastily scribbled the new plan on the board. I chuckled to myself thinking that if my family and friends saw me doing this they would want to know what planet they had been abducted to.  First year lesson, embrace change, and embrace the flashes of brilliance that come with it.


I'm actually kinda loving my photo bomber in this pic... and check out those awesome dry erase hands! 

Lesson two, assuming. To quote a student when “assume” was a spelling word – “just remember it has a naughty word in it”. That naughty word is just how you can look when you partake in this activity. As a first year teacher I polished up what I thought was a neat and tidy little lesson on fairy tales only to be handed a crushing blow during the first ten minutes of first period.  The board read “what is your favorite fairy tale and why?” The answers I received were varied to say the least: Ronnie from Jersey Shore, Stewie from Family Guy, and Tom and Jerry were among the most popular.  Clearly I assumed they knew what a fairy tale was. Clearly I assumed incorrectly. Clearly I made a naughty word out of myself. 


Please excuse the MESS in my room... we are in the middle of cleaning out journals, binders and lockers... AKA STUFF EVERY WHERE 
 Teacher friends, we sat around a table, wine glasses scattered about (because that is what English teachers do...right?) laughing and talking about “our kids”. No, none of us have birthed any children of our own but this August we got our first “our kids”. We understood the stories of “that kid” and the exhausted nights planning, and the paper work... OH the paper work. We are all in the same boat. I found sanity in that boat; I found solace and company that will listen understand, but not bombard with advice, simply because they have none themselves. Lesson 3, find your “teacher friends”.
It's been a wild ride. A ride I wouldn't give up for the world. I started with 109 6th graders and ended up with 109 writers. I started having a basic idea of what I was doing to finally having a clear thought out plan, well most of the time. I learned incredible lessons and worked with amazing people. Learned to be flexible, not to assume and to surround myself with positive, encouraging teachers who I can laugh, cry and share my crazy teacher stories with. 

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44 comments:

Jessica @ Lovely Little Things said...

Well you obviously know the first thing that I'm going to comment on...our twinsies picture ;) How cute are we?!

But really, this is one of my favorite posts that you've done! It's so well written and reading it makes me so PROUD of you! I can't believe you're SO close to being done with your first year...YES! Get. It. Girl!

Love you OH SO much and by the way, you are the world's cutest teacher!
And probably the world's coolest teacher, too since I have a feeling that a student is the one who took these pictures? :)

LOVE YOU TO THE MOON!
xo

Katie said...

congrats on the first year!! I'm sure you did an awesome job with those students!! and what a great job reflecting on the year - I loved the feeling of finishing my first year and how it keeps getting easier after that. And these pictures are adorable. : )

Elisha(: said...

Congrats!! :) I love your hair!!

x.

Mrs. Darcy said...

LOVE this! There have been so many times when I have planned what I think is an amazing lesson and it totally crashes and burns, lol. Congrats on finishing your first year of teaching! Enjoy the summer off:)

PS: I adore that top. Where is it from?

With Glitter On Top said...

Just came across your blog! I love it :):) I'm now a new follower please come check mine out as well.

Kati - Incorporating Color said...

Congrats on making it through your first year! It's great to hear your advice since my first year as a middle school English teacher starts in a few months. I'm definitely needing teacher friends. :)

Megan said...

You are precious! Love all of these pictures! Congrats on your first year of teaching. It does get a little easier, but not easy by any means! I am constantly changing up my lessons even as I am teaching. No biggie!

Allyson Butler said...

This is such great advice - I'll definitely need this kind of stuff next semester! Congratulations on finishing your first year, and you look adorable!

Arielle said...

love it! congrats on finishing year 1! :)

Courtney said...

You've gotta be the most adorable teacher I've ever seen!

Liz with the Lovely Life said...

This is my favourite post you have ever written (and I love all of your personal posts). Having just finished my teaching degree a few weeks ago, this post really hit home for me. It is easy for me to think, having no experience, that I am going to go into my first year of teaching with the best lesson plans in the world and they are going to go so smoothly. It is easy for me to think that I am going to have the best behaved class and the hardest working 'our kids'..but really...who the heck am I kidding!! This post reminded me that I have to be careful not to be a 'bad word' going into my first year full of assumptions! Great post! Thank you so much for the insight- you have no idea how much it meant to me!! One other idea that you gave me- I NEED pics like those ones when I get my classroom!!! Awesome idea! You look great!! Your 'kid' were so blessed to have you as a teacher!! Congrats on finishing your year!! Happy Summer!
-Liz

Kay_S said...

What an awesome post!!

Kay_S said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alexis @ Christian WifeStyle said...

Love this post! I have a few teacher friends and I will be sending them your way, I just know they will love your blog. :)

Victoria said...

Just came across this post and your blog! Thanks for sharing a little bit if your "teaching" (learning) journey. I say it that way because even though we teachers supposedly know a lot, it is our students and our time attempting to help them that God uses to make us into the people who truly do teach!

Gig-ee said...

Found your post by way of Kay S. You are already doing an awesome job.

Paige said...

Aw. Congrads. The first year is over! Bless you for teaching 6th graders. I could never do that!

Amy Shaughnessy said...

Congrats on making it through your first year! Teachers work SO hard. My little sister teaches freshman English and I know how much work she puts into it. She is pretty hard core, come to think of it...

Amy

fashionandbeautyfinds.blogspot.com

housegirlhaley said...

Well don't you look just precious posing with all of your books! Congratulations on making it through your first year.

Shannon said...

Congratulations! Love your blog.

http://shannonhearts.blogspot.com

Robin said...

Congratulations on finishing your first year! It's wild how circumstances can make you change so completely into an even better version of yourself. I loved reading this post!

Rebecca said...

cute pics!

Meg Cady said...

Uhh yeah confession a student did take them... BUT they will be pictures I cherish forever... because lets be honest I wont look like the cute young teacher forever!

Thanks so much I am so proud of YOU too missy!!!

love love love

Meg Cady said...

Oh thanks!
Thanks for the congrats!!

xo

Meg Cady said...

Oh YAY im glad to know it gets a little easier!
Thanks so much for your sweet comment!

xo

Meg Cady said...

Ummm yeah trust me this fairy tale lesson was not the only time my lesson crashed and burned BUT that is what keeps our job so exciting!! Thank so much for the congrats!! Enjoy your summer too!!

the top is from forever 21!!

Xo

Meg Cady said...

Thanks for stopping by!!

XO

Meg Cady said...

Ohhh its so amazing! Cant wait to hear about your first year!!

XO

Meg Cady said...

WOW this was such a wonderful comment to read! Thanks so much Liz this means so much!!!

xo

Meg Cady said...

Ohhh youre too sweet! Thanks so much!

Meg Cady said...

Thanks so much!!
Happy day!

XO

Meg Cady said...

Oh what great news that it gets a little easier! Although the constant change is what I have come to love about our job! Thanks for the encouragement!!
XO

Meg Cady said...

Glad you could get something from it! Cant wait to hear about your adventures!

XO

Meg Cady said...

Thanks!!

Meg Cady said...

WOW what an amazing comment! Thanks so much for this encouragement! I am always praying that God uses us!!

XO

Meg Cady said...

Thanks so much! We do work hard! Congratulate and thank your sister!!

XO

Meg Cady said...

Haha well it is VERY entertaining!!
Thanks for the sweet comment!

XO

Leslie said...

Way to go - that is quite an accomplishment - teachers are so amazing!

Stacie said...

Congrats - I love the pics! You are so inspiring. I am a new follower :)

http://superficialsydney.blogspot.com/

Annie said...

Congratulations on finishing your first year, Meg! Teaching is so hard but so rewarding. Enjoy your summer, lady!

Lindsay @ Trial By Sapphire said...

What a great reflection on your first year of teaching. Congratulations, Meg! You did it!

The Sweet Life said...

You are seriously the cutest thing. You and Jess make me want to starve myself with ya'lls cute LITTLE selfs. ANyways.....are you a writing coach? Never heard of that....I've heard of a reading coach. That's awesome. I could've used and still could use some coaching on my writing.

Emma said...

You're such a wonderful teacher and I don't have to be in your classroom to know that! Just from the way you've talked about it on here says it all! Super proud of you!! Enjoy your summer girl and lots of Reese time!!! Love!

hELARious Lizzy said...

What was your favorite writing activity you did with your sixth graders this year? I'm a history teacher playing a sophomore English teacher in real life, and I love hearing how other English teachers make writing exciting! That is definitely not my strength. I'm glad I stumbled on your blog. Reflecting on your last year: did the Mustache board actually work? I will definitely be linking to you. :)

http://helariouslizzy.blogspot.com/