On New Ground

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July is here. Every teacher’s favorite month of the year. No meetings, no lesson planning, and school seems like it’s light years away. Life is so much slower, we have the time to work on the things we have been planning to do all school year and have never had the time to work on. For me, it’s writing (obviously), sewing, crocheting, and relearning how to eat properly. That last one is a long story and we won’t touch on the too much.

However, I am actually working on school stuff. Last school year, the district began a transition to middle schools instead of junior highs, and going to a 4 year high school format. And since I am still pretty low on the teacher totem pole, I got moved down to a middle school for next year. Honestly, I am far more excited by it than I thought I would be given my feelings last year.

By the end of last school year, I really felt like I was burning out. It was a particularly difficult year for me, especially with classroom management. Everyone I have ever talked to says that year 2 of your teaching career is the hardest, and I now I understand why. As a first-year teacher, you worry about EVERYTHING. You look at everything with fresh eyes, you are doing everything for the very first time. As a second-year teacher, you start to see the chinks in the armor. You begin to evaluate what you could be doing differently, evaluations are a little bit tougher, and you have to get a tougher skin. I can honestly say I learned twice as much my second year than I did in my first.

So, back to this coming year. I am back to square one, curriculum-wise. I’ll be teaching 7th grade Humanities, 8th grade US History, and I have the exciting task of teaching ASB Leadership, too! Right now, I am most focused on Leadership, since it’s the first thing I’m going to encounter this school year. The rest is on the backburner until next month…maybe. (I have a new teaching partner, Amanda, and she likes to frontload a lot. I like that about her, she keeps me moving. So, if she gets her way, I will be working on it sooner!)

A lot is involved in getting the Leadership class going. First, because of new district requirements, it can’t be a full-time class at the middle school level anymore. That means that we have to meet after school several days a week. This class also doubles as my Advisory class for the year, so we will do Leadership things 3 days a week, and Advisory things (college prep, study skills, organization, etc.) 2 days a week. Ideally, most of these kids should be ahead of the game as far as Advisory goes anyway.

So, the first thing going for the year is Leadership Retreat and “Get Your Stuff Day.” I am rebuilding this entire program, since the teacher who had it last year got sick and had a really tough year. We are going to be having a 4-day retreat/training/getting to know each other. And we are going to put together and completely set up and take down “GYSD.” I’m nervous about it for a couple of reasons. 1) I have never taught Leadership before and it’s completely new ground for me. 2) This will be the first thing my new principal sees me complete and I want to slam dunk it and impress her.

So… a little apprehension, a lot of excitement. I am really ready to get the year started, honestly. I’m ecstatic to teach middle school kids again, and I am super excited about the people I am teaching with. So far, I love my job for this coming year, and I am looking forward to moving my classroom in to the building!

Hope all my friends are having an amazing summer, if you have any thoughts or suggestions, please feel free to speak up!

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