Ends (of sorts) and Starts


Well, my classes for the summer have officially ended. I feel that I did well in them and got a lot out of the experiences I’ve had this summer. I tutored in a summer school program, I learned a lot about children with special needs (including more about my own children), and I have learned much about myself as a learner as well as about myself as a teacher.I would not say that I am ready to step into the shoes of a full-time teacher yet, but I am better prepared than I was in June.

Tomorrow begins this adventure into teaching. I will meet with my mentoring teacher and a (for lack of better term) cohort of other humanities teachers at the middle school to discuss curriculum that will be taught in the coming year. It’s the first real chance I will have to familiarize myself with the middle school curriculum and I am so excited to know I’m almost giddy. I’m nervous about who these people are, whether I will fit in well with them, and what sort of impression I will make. I realize that these are the people that I will likely spend my year working with and learning from. The notion of it intimidates me, but certainly excites as well.

I am anxious about the start of the school year. It seems to me that the first couple of days are going to be nerve-wracking and pumped with adrenaline, but once I settle into where I am and the role I play there, I think it will become a bit easier. There are so many things I don’t know right now, and that always makes me nervous. I like to know exactly what I’m stepping into, and it seems that teaching is not something that could ever really be described as concrete.

Perhaps it’s silly, but I’ve been considering what I will wear tomorrow for nearly a week. This meeting may be casual, but I want to make a good impression.

Time for bed. More tomorrow.


2 responses »

  1. Hi Dannielle,

    What a great idea to document your experiences and feelings as you go. If you don’t mind, I’d like to virtually accompany you on this journey. Since you mentioned that the seeds of your desire to teach began to grow in my classroom, I’ve felt a special connection with you. I don’t know if or how I can help, but I can at least encourage you along the way and maybe share some of my experiences with you. If I wax too preachy, just tell me to back off. It’s an occupational hazard! I mentored new teachers for a couple of years in the Highline School District and one of the things I learned was that sometimes it’s more important to listen than to talk or advise. That’s true of mentors and it’s true of 1st year teachers.

    From reading many of your comments on FB I feel like I’ve gotten (I HATE that word) to know you a bit. I’ve been struck by your musings about your inspirations, your excitement, your doubts, and your aspirations. I’ve been impressed with your questions and your insight. I see a lot of depth in you, and I think you’ll be an excellent teacher. You will have doubts, you will get discouraged, and you may even question your decision to teach. Don’t let those thoughts be in charge. You’ll also have moments of inspiration and realization that you are absolutely doing what you were meant to do. Listen to your heart.

    My first words to a beginning teacher are always “Listen to other teachers and learn from them.” From some you’ll learn how to teach; from others you may learn what not to do. If you always treat people, especially your students, with respect, you’ll reap the rewards over and over again. In my opinion, respect is the bottom line! (See, I’ve already started preaching! I’ll try to restrain myself!)

    Good luck as you begin this journey. I’m excited for you. I I hope you’ll free to use me as a sounding board if you wish. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help you.

    Mary Richards (No more Mrs. Richards to you.)

  2. Hi Mary (That’s going to take some getting used to!),

    I would be happy and honored to have you along for the ride. I appreciate that you’re willing to take the time to advise, listen, and be in a mentoring role for me. I think the advice you’ve given in your comment seems very logical and not the least bit preachy. I love stories anyway!

    Funny how things come full circle, isn’t it? Besides, a little encouragement is always needed, no matter who you are!

    Sometimes I feel really lost in the midst of this process, and sometimes I feel like I am farther ahead than I thought I was. It helps me to be able to write everything out and analyze it a little bit.

    I am nervous, excited, apprehensive, and daunted all at the same time. But I think that’s normal. I’m interested to see how I will feel after this year is over, and how much my perspective has changed. I think that’s part of why I decided to write it all out in a blog.

    Thanks for being a part of this, and I look forward to talking to you more!


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