My very first day of teaching ever was today. And on my very first day of real teaching, I lost my voice. I have six periods of sophomore English 10, and I could barely croak at them.
I’m not sick, but I needed an excuse. I told my sophomores it was because I started teaching pre-K Sunday School and we did lots of songs (with motions!) and that’s why I didn’t have a voice Monday. I threatened that if they were not as energized as I was, I’d be teaching them pre-K motion songs and calling it a participation grade.
The first thing I told my tenth graders was a lie.
It’s true that I did get asked to teach Pre-K Sunday School, and that that did start Sunday. But actually I did not know ANY of the songs.
I actually lost my voice because I rehearsed my first class twice through in front of the mirror, then read the first chapter of To Kill a Mockingbird out loud to see how long it would take, then read it AGAIN with pauses to ask questions of the kids. I was so nervous and wanted to get every moment of class planned out so it went smoothly.
Despite the monster voice (“I sound like a monster because I am one,” I insisted to my students), I had a great first day of school. Only first period needed to stand up and do Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes, and everyone got to enjoy my new cell phone policy, which involves the phone out and on the desk the whole period, with good behavior and hard work rewarded with text breaks at transition times.
I ordered To Kill a Mockingbird on audiobook on Amazon Prime (yay free two-day shipping!) in case I don’t have a voice by Thursday when we bust out The Greatest Novel of All Time. Good thing tomorrow we are doing a library orientation day so my voice can have a bit of a rest…