I didn’t have a lot of problems my first year teaching. I had a previous long-term sub position which set me up with a few skills that baby teachers don’t always get. And perhaps that was my foot in the door because once I landed my first full-time teaching job in small-town Iowa, I was ready to go.
I don’t remember problems. Staff and I got along, lessons were successful, my room was organized, I was making friends – kids put up a bit of resistance because I was new but after just a few weeks, I feel into a pretty great routine. It really even got to the point where I probably could’ve left the classroom for the entire day and things with my students would’ve proceeded as normal. Genuinely speaking, I had a pretty fabulous first go around. I did not have to run away from the profession screaming like some may think I should.
Well now, I’m starting a new position. To say I’m overwhelmed is…well, a simple way of putting it. I’m sort of high anxiety. I feel like it is my first year teaching again and in a way it is. I am teaching in a level I’ve never gotten loads of experience in and in demographics I haven’t been around. My principal hired me within 15 minutes of talking to me and so many have told me how thrilled they are to be working with me so there’s votes of confidence in all corners. I am thankful for that. But I’m still crazy nervous.
My situation is unique – and in a way I can’t complain about. The elementary I will be working in, comparably to my previous middle school, is a 180 difference…and it’s is getting rennovated. It’s August 15th and I can honestly say yes, it’s still getting rennovated. This, from day one of knowing where I would be this year, was a stress factor. But between the principal, the previous art teacher and what I had heard of the staff…I wasn’t actually scared – just anxious to get started. I get a brand new classroom, brand new furniture, a massive amount of materials replenished and even some extra goodies I didn’t anticipate. Thank you SIG.
I also took the job on because of the unique program found at this school – it is one of eight schools in the nation, yes nation, that participates in the Turnaround Arts program – a program that funds schools in need with the materials and resources (famous artists, conventions, programing, supplies) that will help them better the life of their students. And the best part? The program focuses on how arts of all kinds are completely essential for student learning…classroom teachers are asked to integrate the arts into their classroom. I mean, wow, did I get lucky or what? I am working in a school full of fabulous people who are focused on art!
So it’s important to know I am totally thrilled under all my anxiety.
Well, I’ve had two days of Professional Development – translate that into building oriented meetings and district orientation and you can simply assume I have just been thrown a lot…and I mean, a lot of information. And on top of this, I can’t get into my classroom until Monday and I may not have my boxes until mid day – all projected 78 of them. Students show up mid week. 🙂 I have full confidence in the previous teacher and she has been a God-send of reassurance that all will be alright (she even went extra crazy organized on packing so I wouldn’t be as stressed) but I don’t even know where to begin my thoughts as I don’t even know what will be where and when!
Needless to say I am so very excited and confident in my ideas and thoughts for the year but at the same time, it’s like I am a first year teacher all over again. I don’t even know where to start processing yet! But man – oh man, this is what I’ve been waiting for. A teaching job that will keep me on my toes, introduce me to people and diversity I didn’t get before and really let me explore how arts can help empower students and other teachers with this fantastic program I get to be a part of.
So, sorry readers – no lesson plans or teaching tips for this post. Just a special moment of thoughts surrounding my anxiety but more importantly, my excitement about the year to come. I imagine the amount of new ideas that will come out of me this year will be tremendous, don’t you worry!