Yup, that’s me. I’m the new girl. I’m the one who turns the wrong way in the hall heading out to the parking lot. I’m the one who has to ask you yet again what your name is. I’m the one that everyone has a million questions for as they try to get to know you.
I’m the new girl at school, but I don’t mind, because I’m back to teaching and I’m so very thankful!
Last Tuesday afternoon I got the call that the teacher I am covering for was officially out for maternity leave, so I prepped as much as I could that evening and started the next morning. Now, with a week and a half under my belt, I’m rewarded with a week off for February break… what timing huh?! Haha!
To be honest, I actually feel like I could use the break already. Teaching is fun and I truly am so happy to be back in the classroom, but it is also exhausting! Of course these are sort of abnormal circumstances as I try to adjust to coming in at the middle of the year, the middle of a unit (for both biology and forensics), and the middle of 4 classes worth of kids to get to know. I feel much more settled now than I did last week at this time, but am very much looking forward to planning over break, then starting “fresh” (aka with new units to study and new organization systems of my own!) when we return.
One of my biggest “concerns” going into this long term sub position was that it would never really feel like the classes were mine. I have been pleasantly surprised to find that I was wrong! Already I feel personal ownership over the classes, I’m beginning to establish connections with the students, and today I even started re-organizing the room a bit. I’m excited to see how things continue to develop when we return from break (although I’m definitely not rushing it cause a week off will be nice!).
The best thing about teaching? Teaching. The actual act of preparing lessons, interacting with students, sharing knowledge, listening to their questions, and trying to let my enthusiasm for biology rub off as much as possible!
The worst thing about teaching? Paperwork. Grading is one thing, and yes it can get to be quite a lot of work, but the paperwork I like least is trying to keep things in order for students who have been absent. I think this has been especially challenging since I came in mid-way. I have some organization ideas to implement in my next unit… we’ll see if things get any easier.
I find that I come home tired every day, from my feet (oh boy, I’m out of practice with standing up all day!) to my brain (I can’t seem to turn off the running list of things to do, names to remember, papers to print, etc…). But I also come home feeling satisfied, accomplished, and content.
Am I thankful for this teaching opportunity. Yes indeed. Am I also thankful for this upcoming week of break? You betcha!