Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Beginning

I’m sitting in my classroom right now.  Everything’s set up.  The first day’s bellringer and objectives are listed on the board, my consequences and rewards are all posted, and my desk is organized, but the room is lacking that one essential element - students.  Never fear though, in less than 24 hours about one hundred students will be passing through my classroom.  The thought terrifies me, or at least it did.  Oddly enough, as day one approaches, my nerves seem to diminish more.  Of course, that’s easy to say as I sit peacefully alone in my classroom hours away from showtime.  I’m going over the first day’s activities in my head again and again hoping that everything will go smoothly.  I know deep down though that the first day will be anything but smooth.  I’m quickly getting used to that fact.  I keep telling myself that I’m here to teach and that’s my priority.  Regardless of what happens, when students are present in this room, I’ll be up front with stuff to say and things to do.  I view my classroom as a part of the school, but at the same time it’s an isolated oasis that I’m in charge of.  That thought helps ease my anxieties for the first day.
We’ve been professionally developing this week.  It’s been an interesting experience.  We’ve had countless motivational speeches, discussions on consistency, and informational sessions over the past three days.  With all these accomplishments, one might assume we covered almost everything and we’re ready for tomorrow.  It’s quite the contrary.  The excess of motivational speeches almost seems like, in the words of a fellow teacher, they are trying to distract us from asking questions to which they do not know the answers.  Another great quote from a fellow teacher goes, “They tell you just enough to freak you out, but not enough to help.”  I found that comment to be spot on.  Problems are addressed but never discussed or resolved.  We simply move on to the next problem and repeat the cycle.  The whole process is frustrating, but I’m already learning to just go with the flow here.  Whatever happens, happens, you deal with it, and then move on.  Just keep smiling.
It’s amazing how little I actually know about school rules, policies, and procedures and tomorrow is the first day of school.  Also, another small problem has not yet been accomplished - the students’ schedules.  There’s no need for me to elaborate on this one; I’ll just end up frustrated and angry.  Anyway, the hours are ticking away until showtime.  Tomorrow will be my leap of faith out of the airplane, and I can only pray that the parachute deploys somewhere on the way down.  Good luck to my fellow teachers!  WOOOOOOOO YEAR ONE IS ABOUT TO BEGIN!!!!!!  Rock on MTC ’10.

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1 comment:

  1. So it's been exactly one month since you've written this post. DOESN'T IT FEEL LIKE A YEAR? I wanted to comment on your first few sentences about having everything you can possibly do done, but still feeling unprepared because those kids haven't walked through your door yet. Preparation is a funny thing. It's amazing how much of this job is mental: feeling planned (vs. having written a lesson plan), being ready for the school day (vs. having woken up that morning), etc. But you know, now, as well as I do that it didn't matter how much you knew what you were going to do on the first day, how many times you'd reviewed your rules and consequences, and even how many kids you'd prepared for (even if you'd had rosters). There's absolutely no exercise that can fully prepare you for Day One other than actually experiencing it.