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.