New Teacher Reflections: Two Months In

It has been approximately two months in to the first school year of my life as a teacher. However, it feels like it has been more like 2 years.  Every time I meet someone who asks me how things are going, I tell them I‘m tired as hell, I should probably be getting a lot more sleep, I’m totally married to my job, but I love it! I’ve learned a great deal in these two months:

  • It’s all about them kids! No matter what I do, ultimately the question is what will be best for my students? 
  • Considering the first point, I am slowly learning to prioritize my huge to do list.  There will always be a lot to do, but whatever is for the well being of my students either academic or otherwise there will most likely be on top of the list. I have to pick and chose my battles. There are certain things worth taking stress over, while there ares somethings that will just have to be put on the burner for later.
  • Effective co-teaching requires a whole other layer of planning. Especially when you work with three different people. So I currently suck at it and it’s become a goal for the year to improve day by day.
  • I won’t remember later. It worked for me for 20 odd years of my life, but no more! I need to write things down.
  • Sleep is vital. I love it. I wish I had more of it. Sometimes I just have to STOP working and just sleep. Sleep is so awesome! I learned it the hard way:

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  • Bulletin boards are annoying, but I should have some work prepared to put up at any time.
  • Questions are an essential part of planning.  Coming up with one really concise and rich question can be enough for the class to explore for the entire period.
  • Middle school students are on a roller coaster. They are constantly on highs and lows. I’m slowly learning how to identify when they are on a high or low.
  • Students really love to help-middle schoolers anyways. I promise to take advantage of that.
  • It’s important to think about the highs and lows from the week and reflect on them. It’s easy to get the good moments lost in the “a lot-ness” of things that have to be done, the horrible lessons, misbehaviors of students, etc. 

Above all else, I feel extremely blessed to be working where I am for my first year. I feel extremely supported by my administration as well as working with a really great math team. I definitely felt nervous walking in the first day, but I feel that I can take risks, try new things, and make mistakes (which I have made a ton of already).  I love the conversations I have with my math coach and co-teacher and appreciate the thought we put into our lessons. I have a great new teacher mentor at my school who listens to my venting and frustrations.  

Looking forward to what comes next (though it would be nice if the papers to be graded would disappear).

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