This past Thursday and Friday, I officially started my new teaching job with two days of staff development. On Wednesday, I was so excited about going in, meeting the teachers, and getting started. In my typical optimistic and idealistic way, I couldn't wait to hit the ground running. On Thursday morning, about 30 minutes into our meeting, I felt like I might throw up. Being a teacher is wayyyyy overwhelming. Between test scores and modifications and grading and test prep and lesson planning and organizing my classroom, I can officially say that this will be a working summer. Whoever said teachers get the summer's off does not remember the summer before he became a teacher. Now don't get me wrong, I feel like I was so well prepared by my college of ed. I also feel like I am going to love my job, but on Thursday morning I felt like I was sinking into a very large to-do list of seemingly insurmountable tasks.
Then, I went home and talked to my sister, who wisely reminded me that "every teacher has had a first day and a first year. If they can make it, then surely you can, too." Thanks, girl. Way to motivate! I went to bed ridiculously early on Thursday night, determined to have a better attitude and a calmer spirit on Friday morning. I woke up extra early, and started packing up books for my classroom library and folders and binders and anything I thought would have a better home in my classroom than on my mess of a home office desk. This, I told myself, was the first step to feeling comfortable--moving stuff. I then proceeded to (almost) make myself late, when I had to make four trips from my car to my house because I kept forgetting things. This series of trips culminated in the spilling cup of an entire cup of coffee on my passenger seat. AWESOME, Jessica.
Unwilling to be deterred in my optimism, I took a deep breath and went to school. "Every teacher has had a first day and a first year. If they can make it, then surely you can, too." Friday, unlike Thursday, was fantastic! I work with a truly amazing group of people, who really do want to help me be a good teacher. I just had to remind myself that all I have to do is ask questions. There's a great Mark Twain quote that says, "Don't let schooling interfere with your education." I think I kind of told myself that I was supposed to know everything on the front end. That's why I went to college. But my real education of how to be an educator is only beginning. I'm sure I'll learn plenty of new real-life lessons, just like I did when I student taught (don't worry, I already know not to wear skinny jeans on casual Fridays), and I can't wait to share them on here. After being in limbo for six months, it feels good to push my energy into a project. So here I go. I may be facing a year of the unexpected, but I can't wait to see what all of that unexpected will be.