I got a teaching job!!! Yay!! I honestly didn’t think the day would come. I graduated in December of 2017. I have put in hundreds of applications and been to so many interviews, with no luck. I got a phone call on August 22nd last year. It was some guy asking me if I had been hired anywhere. When I told him no, he asked me if I would be interested in coming in for an interview the next day, because they had a 5th grade position available. I had literally just started a job with Philips a week prior, but teaching was what I had always wanted to do, so I accepted. I went in for the interview and was a nervous wreck. I didn’t even apply for this job; how in the world did they find me? The interview felt like it took 5 minutes and an eternity all at the same time. I don’t even remember what questions they asked me. Finally it was over. They asked me to step out and wait in the hall while they talked. That has never happened.
Either I did okay during the interview or they were desperate, because they hired me on the spot. Happy freakin’ birthday to me!! ((My birthday is August 24th lol)).
When does school start? Oh, in two days! Uhhh.. what?! Talk about anxiety. I spent the next day getting my classroom together as best I could. (It’s still not fully together, btw.. 6 months later)
Time to meet my students!!
My anxiety was through the roof!! What if they don’t like me? What if I don’t know how to teach? WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO TEACH?? I’m going to forget everything I learned in school!! What if I have terrible students? Can I really do this? What if I mess up? What if the other teachers don’t like me?
Too late now.. Here we go!!
Honestly, I don’t remember much about the first few days. It was such a blur. It went by so fast and I had no clue what I was doing. My teaching partner across the hall was a godsend, though. She helped me so much, and provided me with so many resources. She told me what we were teaching and showed me HOW to teach it. We were splitting up the lesson plans and sharing resources. It was great!!
And then about a month and a half ago, everything changed. I was told that I needed to make my own lesson plans and find my own resources. Everything that she had shared with me was gone. She un-shared everything!! Literally everything was gone!! What the heck was I supposed to do now? I don’t know what comes next. There’s no document that maps everything out. This is my first year… I don’t know the content. I was freaking out!! I told my mentor teacher (who is amazing!!) what happened, and she reassured me that everything was going to be fine.
So, I’ve been making my own lesson plans and finding my own resources for over a month now, and I’m finally starting to get the hang of it. It’s getting easier as the weeks go by. Being a new teacher is not easy though: planning lessons, finding resources, making copies, meetings, observations, mentor meetings, parent/teacher conferences, behavior issues, more meetings, trainings, principal meetings, etc. It’s been crazy.
Speaking of behavior issues.. mannnn.. I have a lot!! I have about 5 boys in my class that are completely wild. Well, 4 now.. one just got taken out of my class for the rest of the year. He was the wildest one, and nothing I was doing was working. I ignored him, moved his seat right next to me, talked to the principal.. nothing worked. He would jump over tables, do flips, throw things across the room, walk out of my classroom, interrupt every lesson, refuse to do his work, run down the hallway, scream, play games on his Chrome Book when they were supposed to be working, say inappropriate things, and so much more.
He had been going to the intervention teacher for math RTI in the mornings, but his scores went up so I moved him out of that group. His behavior was getting out of control, so my teaching partner suggested that he go to her class for math RTI and regular math. Well, we did that for about 2 days and they ended up making the switch permanent. Today was the first day that he wasn’t in my class, which was kind of sad, tbh. Everyone was asking where he was. I told them that we made some changes and that if there are anymore behavior issues, more changes can be made. I think that scared them a little.. lol!!
I also have a group of girls in my class that have progressively gotten worse as the year has gone on. Last week, I found out that they are, apparently, doing inappropriate things at recess. Keep in mind, these kids are only 10-11. They are getting into a circle on the playground, with one girl in the middle, taking turns kissing each other. When I was 10, I was definitely NOT thinking about kissing anyone, let alone my friends.
So that’s fun!!!
My principal did his final observation today. Considering we were starting a brand new concept (equivalent fractions) and used manipulatives (fraction bars) for the first time, I feel like it went really well. When he was leaving, he told me not to worry and that we would meet to discuss it when I had time. I turned in my post observation form today, so we will see what he says when we meet. He told me that he will always have recommendations, but not to take it personally.
The year is winding down, (there are only three months left) and I get so anxious thinking about not being rehired. My principal and mentor teacher assure me that I am doing well, but I always doubt myself.
Teaching is great, don’t get me wrong.. I love it.. but what you learn in college does NOT prepare you for what teaching actually is. You don’t learn how to teach. You don’t learn about the things you will deal with in your classroom. You don’t learn about how much time actually goes into preparing a lesson. You don’t learn about having “mentor” teachers cut you off. You don’t learn about what order content is supposed to be taught in. You don’t learn about how bad some of these kids’ home lives are. You don’t learn about SO much. I feel so unprepared every day. I try so hard to prepare myself and feel like I fail over and over. I keep hearing that it’s a learning experience, and you get better with time, but man, I hate feeling like a failure.
What did you want to be when you grew up? Did you follow your dreams?