Last Monday, I stepped into an 8th grade classroom as a teacher. I wasn’t scared or nervous, I was just excited. I have been preparing for this for two years, and I was finally ready.
It’s not a solo teaching job, mind you. I am in this classroom in the suburbs for 12 weeks as a co-teacher in order to receive my Master’s. In November, I will leave this classroom to apply for full-time jobs, and I’ll certainly apply at the school I’m in now, but it’s not a guarantee.
I can only describe the last week of my life as fast. I’ve learned more techniques and picked up more classroom management hints than throughout my entire grad school career.
I’ve learned 70+ names and can confidently say hi to these students in the hallway. I’ve discovered what being called by my last name feels like (I keep thinking they’re referring to my mom).
I’ve recommended several books to students and successfully gotten them to read.
I’ve fallen asleep before midnight and woken up before 7am (if you’ve read any of my blogs from the winter or spring, you know this is a champion accomplishment for me).
I’ve realized that an 80 minute class period is not enough time to teach them everything I want.
I’ve bonded with students over our shared love for video games, Spongebob, and Hello Kitty.
I’ve had headaches, dry throats, stomach cramps, blisters, and chills as a result of adjusting to all of this.
I’ve taken my monster lunch box to school and eaten five turkey sandwiches made by my mom, complete with letters written on paper towels.
I’ve tripped, dropped things, made mistakes, lost my train of thought, made spelling errors on the board, and used big words to sound like I know what I’m talking about.
I’ve cried in my car because a student went out of their way to say goodbye to me and waved.
And it’s just the first week.