The rumor is that everyone cries during their first year of teaching. I have witnessed this first hand as a new teacher fled her room, never to return. It wasn’t her cup of tea after all. It was sad and a bit scarey. I decided right then and there that I would not cry during my first year. If you know me at all, you know I’m not really one to cry anyway. Unless it is a really good doritos commercial or the end of most any good movie, I don’t cry.
I’m coming up on my first anniversary of being a real teacher. I began in the middle of the school year last year and here we are again. I’ve loved it for the most part. I love the kids, teaching, decorating my room, learning…..and feeling like a real grown up most the time. I never had a real career like job before. It’s kind of exciting and terrifying at the same time. There are times when I’m walking down the hall of the school and I think to myself…..”I’m a real teacher!” and then I feel like breaking out into a hysterical, maniacal laugh. (and sometimes I do)
I know I’m new and I have a lot to learn, but I feel like I’ve been doing okay. My kids are happy and doing well. I have a few that make me want to beat my head against the wall, but I really like all of them.
The big buzz word these days is data. Everything you do is measured by data that shows test results and growth and achievement and blah blah blah. Data is really important and can make or break a teacher. This is how they figure out if a teacher is effective. So, my question is…do I resign now or wait til the Christmas break officially starts. I’m hoping someone tells me it isn’t as bad as it looks to me, but I’m afraid I’m going to get my butt handed to me in an old Kleenex box. How is it that my students can do great on homework and tests in the class and bomb the benchmark tests?
Oh, wait a minute….could it be because the benchmark tests are worded in something close to Chinese? These aren’t words we’ve ever used in math. When was I supposed to teach them these things? Use these words? I guess I could have done it between all the ‘extra’ projects I had thrown at me on a daily basis.
I wonder what teaching was like for teachers when I was a kid. I don’t remember having loads of homework or big projects or seeing my teacher go to the back of the room to cry and pull at her hair. Of course, I don’t remember much of anything after dropping that huge cutting board on my toe in third grade. It’s all kind of a blur……
Don’t worry, I’m not going to really throw the towel in or run down the street with tears streaming down my face. I will face this challenge like any other and start doing it MY way. Yes, I’ve played by your rules long enough and it has kicked me down. Time to step it up and make it work for me and my kids the way I know it will.
Playing by the rules is for losers……cause I said so.
Photo credit: http://www.yalazi.org