My 6th year of teaching is about to START! Would it be cliché to mention how fast the time has gone? I remember having dreams about the various ways my first day of teaching could go. In reality, the day was calm and uneventful. I remember being especially proud that all my students walked in quiet single file lines through the halls as I took them on a tour of the school. I learned so much that first year and the years that came. Since then, every year seems to bring its own set of unique situations, opportunities and craziness.
Last year was no different, except I decided one of my goals would be to work on myself. I’m always telling my students: “Never give up.” “Don’t say I can’t.” “Be positive.” Meanwhile, I am mentally punishing myself for forgetting an item on my to-do-list or berating myself for how I presented a concept. I told my students to “Be okay with you who you are” as I hold back in expressing myself in fear of how others will react. How could I tell my students to believe in what I taught when I was totally not following my own advice?
In the fall, I did some soul-searching (okay, I did a little therapy) and in the spring I deactivated Facebook so I could focus more on writing and my classroom. Now as the school year begins, I feel more centered than I did in previous years. Some of that probably has to do with experience and getting old, but whatever the reason I am very thankful for the growth I’ve made!
And if I had to give advice to my bright-eyed newbie teacher self? I would say, Don’t sweat the mistakes. Learn from them. Keeping rolling. You never know how you’re reaching your kids. It could be through telling them about your favorite book or cutting a hair tie out of someone’s hair. Embrace the small moments. And yes, don’t give up! Your goal is not to be the best teacher for others to admire. Your goal is to be there for your students and be the teacher they need while providing them the tools they need without sacrificing your sanity! 🙂
Note: Not sure if any of that made sense or is original. Apply at your own risk.
On a less serious note (or not), the last book I read this summer was The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas. I mentioned in a previous blog post I was eager to read this book because the author’s previous YA thrillers were excellent page turners. The Cheerleaders did not disappoint. It had the same spine chill factor, but this one felt darker and sadder. The novel revolves around the mysterious deaths of five cheerleaders a few years before the story begins. The fifth cheerleader committed suicide and the younger sister is left to figure out why her sister and her friends died. I personally have a hard time reading about suicides, but the book handles it well. It’s not glorified, and there’s a semi-satisfying ending. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves dark high school mysteries or enjoys witty YA writing in general!
Happy School Year to all involved! I’ll leave you with a sensible quote from an actual wise person.
“Stay true to your own nature. If you like to do things in a slow and steady way, don’t let others make you feel as if you have to race. If you enjoy depth, don’t force yourself to seek breadth.” ~ Susan Cain