Wednesday, June 8, 2011

My First Year

Seven short years ago, blissfully unaware of many of the demands/roles/hats I would have as a teacher, I was hired to, and began doing what I love. 

For a moment today, I was brought back to that first year as we discussed feelings that first year teachers have throughout the year from August to May.  We discussed the range of attitudes they experience from anticipation to survival to reflection.

I have a particular memory that I will keep with me always. 

It was the first day of school.  I was so eager, so nervous, so anxious. 

In through the door I saw many students and parents with new book bags and supplies.  Through the crowd and over to where I was standing came a mother and her son.  With a huge grin on both of their faces, Mrs. Paula Schumpert handed me a potted plant and said, "This is for you.  You'll never have another first first day." 

Although at that moment, I don't think I truly realized the magnitude of what she was saying, it made my smile grow even larger and calmed my nerves.

First year teachers don't always get the respect and support they need from parents or other staff members. That's why this training has been so valuable to me.  I've been able to hear experiences from other teachers, not so similar to mine.  And, I'm learning how to offer the support that was so valuable to me.  

One of the lessons I think I'll share with a new teacher this year is that even though you'll never have another first first day, you can treat each day with that same enthusiasm!  

Each day, remember the eagerness; it'll keep you open minded.

Each day, remember the anxiousness; it'll keep you on your toes. 

Each day, remember the nerves; they'll keep you humble. 

Each day, remember the smiles; those are the children that depend on you.