This past week has been crazy for me, but I can say that I’ve completed 5 of 180 days for this school year. I don’t know if I have any more statements of knowledge to make – actually, no, that’s a lie; I do know, but they are largely inconsequential compared to the ones I’ve already made. My juniors are going to be my difficult classes, my seniors and novel elective the easiest, with the sophomores falling somewhere in between. The juniors are made difficult by a few choice students who are so far finding lots of ways to turn productive discussions into useless diversions, and I’m struggling to keep them on task. I will have to pull my “you have a lot of work to do to prepare for the PSAE/ACT” card more for them, although I know that at least one student won’t care.
So far, I’ve passed out syllabi and texts, discussed a few major projects, given a pre-assessment in all but one class (which I have not yet been able to look at in depth), and had some relatively minor discussions about issues that will get each class thinking about the material at hand. I’ve lost a student, had some switching happening, and got a little bit exasperated with a few others.
I wish I could fairly assess how I’m doing, but I think it’s too soon. I don’t feel like I’m failing yet, which is a good sign, and everything went according to plan for the most part this week. I still have a lot of planning to do for this week, and I’m slightly at a loss for what to do with my autoethnography assignment which I will be teaching to the seniors this week.
I also wish I had something more to say that would seem relevant to other people and not just like I’m blathering on about what’s happening to me as a first-year teacher.
Okay, I will say this: I love the people I work with. Our principal is great for a number of reasons, not the least of which is her unequivocable support for her teachers and her personable nature with students (which of course providing very firm boundaries). And the teachers I work with are equally supportive and just downright fun people – I’ve spent a fair amount of time getting to talk with them over lunches, in the hallways after school, and in other contexts as well. I knew the atmosphere at this tiny little school felt right to me, and I know it is.
It really makes me want to succeed even more – because then I can stay.
I’ll try to remember that as I finish preparing for the week ahead. There are students to teach and a great job to keep!