Saturday, October 11, 2014

First Year Teacher Blues

You run into class late, apologize to the students for being tardy in a hurried manner, and go straight into a lesson. Everyone starts off by looking at you and paying close attention. Slowly, you see students dozing off, writing in their journals, whispering with their friends, and these are just a couple of the signs that show you that the class in not engaged during the lesson.

You're a good teacher, and you can read your students easily. They need a change of pace, so you quickly tell them what to do for the independent practice part of the lesson. 

Your shoulders feel a little bit lighter when the students divert their attention to the independent practice, but you still can't help to think that something is not going right. The students don't look happy. Some are  chatting by the computers, and others do not even have the independent practice handout in front of them. 

You are a good teacher so you reflect upon the student behavior. Why aren't they engaged? Did something happen during lunchtime? Was the work too complex? 

These questions aren't the only questions going through your head. You're also thinking about when you are going to fill out the monthly class report, check student IEPs, make copies, plan for next weeks lesson plans, prepare the weekly newsletter, and email the parents about student highlights/concerns.

Then you start thinking that maybe you're not a good teacher and you're not cut out to be like that inspirational teacher that you idolized from Freedom Writers. 
Suddenly, you look you can connect with these memes, and that depresses you most of all. 

Well, I am here to say that it gets a whole lot better after your first year teaching blues. The following image shows the progression of a first year teacher's well being.

It's October now, and you are probably in survival mode now. Right before the Winter break, you will most likely have dreams of going to break and never going back to teacher again. Luckily, something magical happens during Winter break, and you feel rejuvenated. It might be all the sleep, food, and unliminites amount of bathroom breaks you are getting. 

It only gets better after that, and the summer in between 1st and 2nd year of teaching is probably the best. 

So, I am writing this to give you some sliver of hope and encouragement that it will get better. 😋

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