That’s right, the countdown starts over. Tomorrow is the first day of my second year of teaching. I feel like I’ve come a long way since Day One, 2012. This time last year, I was practicing what I was going to say to my students in the mirror, and reading the first chapter of To Kill a Mockingbird out loud to see how long it would take, and was so nervous I was shaking when I greeted my students. This year, same kiddos, but both of us are one year older and, hopefully, one year wiser. I am not remotely nervous about tomorrow…and perhaps the fact that I am not nervous should make me nervous? My friends at church this morning asked me if I was ready for the first day of school. I replied, “Sure.” Because I learned last year that a teacher is never really “ready,” in the sense that one can never be “perfect.” I can always get better. I can always put more hours in, and more tweaking, and do more research. But there are only so many hours in the day, and I think I’ll be a better teacher if I’m a happier one. Vegging out with my husband today was much better than practicing my scary teacher face in the mirror a bajillion times.
I feel like summer has been a really long weekend, and I’m just going back to doing what I do every day. I have my lessons planned for this week, and my copies made, and my agenda on the board. I don’t have every little thing done, but I have confidence I’ll figure it out. I won’t lose my voice because I practiced my first lesson six times. Tomorrow, I’ll greet my students, we’ll go over my expectations (much higher than last year…), and we’ll do some intro activities if there is time – perhaps a round of four corners.
I can’t get too complacent. I’m teaching AP this year, so I know I’ll need to be on my toes; they’ll love to catch me off-guard. In the Gifted & Talented sessions I’ve been taking as part of professional development last week, I learned a lot about how I was as a semi-psycho honors student. I would have been appalled to have learned how some of my teachers graded on occasion. I have known myself to, by the end of grading 130+ essay, get to the point where I glance at the paper, think to myself, “This kid usually makes a 90,” and give the assignment a 90. As an AP student in high school, I counted every point, and demanded my teacher account for every “mistake” he or she thought I made. If I have students like that – like me – then I’ll have to be a little more prepared. But at least now I feel like I can stand on my own two feet as a teacher. I’m not perfect – and I never will be (17-year-old honors student Lizzy would have NEVER admitted that fact). But I’m better than I was last year, and I’ll be much better this time next year. So off I go, on another year of learning, hopefully a little teaching, and lots of teenage antics along the way. Thanks in advance for following my adventures with me 🙂