With summer coming to a close, I'm starting to focus on the year ahead. My poor brethren that just wrapped summer school did not enjoy reading that last sentence. But with the new year brings new teachers and I thought I'd jot out a couple of quick observations about my first year, now that it's had some time to marinate. But it's true what they say, whether you were in a sterling education program in college or coming out of alternative certification, no amount of studying, planning, or reading will prepare you for the day when you introduce yourself to your first batch of living, breathing students.

  • You will probably freak out once or twice in the first month
  • You will have a moment where it seems surreal that you're the only adult in the room (may or may not coincide with that first thing)
  • You will find the genius procedures you thought up during staff development probably won't work in practice
  • You will teach them something, promise
  • You will teach them a lot more in a few years
  • You will teach a concept wrong at least once
  • You will get taken advantage of, whether you know it or not
  • You will work a lot, if you want to be great one day, that is
  • You will have lessons that are genius on paper blow up in your face
  • You will have to show students you mean business at least once
  • You will spend your second year realizing that a lot of your tests, procedures, and lessons in your first year weren't as great as you thought
  • You will have support at your school, promise
  • You will survive
  • You will have fun
  • You will not be able to wait for your second year to start after your first (well, maybe not until late July, and that's ok)

And whether you've been teaching one year or thirty years, if those last two items don't apply year after year, why are you here?

AuthorJonathan Claydon