Sunday, February 28, 2016

And Now the Positive Side to the Second Year

That blog post went dark.  Pretty quickly.  I wasn't feeling the best about myself at that time, and I decided to just clear out my brain.  Which oddly helped.  But the other side of that is that we need to fill in the space made by clearing out the bad by filling it in with something good.  So, let's try and do this so those of you who may be younger teachers than I can feel like the world isn't all terrible.

You are a Better Teacher
This will not seem right at all.  But believe me, when it comes down to it, you are better.  Seriously.  It may seem like on some days that all you can do is make mistakes, but they are mistakes that are not just because you are new.  They are mistakes because this job is hard, and that's how you learn. Whenever I feel like poop, I listen to the Tarzan soundtrack from Disney and scream along with the "In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn" part.   It ends with "all these things will come to you in time."  Thank you, Phil Collins.

New Students
My first year, I had a group of students who pushed every button I had.  I had to think on my feet so fast to just get through a day and get anything done.  This year, thanks to those students, I feel like I knew what to kind of do if it came up again.  Yes, there were many new challenges (see last post) but it has been wonderful to get to know a group of students and still see some of your old ones.  New jokes, new lessons, new personalities.  It has been a great year with these scientists, and I'm super proud to see how my past scientists are doing.

Honing New Skills
I make a conscious decision to get better at a thing a year.  This year was being timely on updating the online grading, and I feel like I have generally become much stronger at that and I still have the skills I honed last year, like planning using Post-Its (shout out to all my teacher friends who showed me how to do this) and positive narration, but boy howdy did grading get to me.  I've learned how to get as much grading done as humanly possible as fast as possible.  I also learned the best thing for me, is to focus on that thing.  I tried to implement a bunch of new  tricks, and many of them no longer are being used.  I figure I still have them, and the same thing happened last year until I kind of cracked those tricks this year.  I figure when it comes down to it, I'll keep learning a new trick a year and that's pretty fantastic.

People Know Your Name
I saved the best and least obvious for last.  It is amazing your second year to have name recognition.  I had to introduce myself last year or, in one case, hear someone ask my friend "who is Ms. S?" in front of me.  Now, thanks to chaperoning a few field trips and word of mouth, I am kind of known at school.   There are still batches of kids who have no idea who I am besides that mean lady who sends them back to class, but I have a way better relationship with other teachers.  Which is to say, I have a relationship with the other teachers at all.  I actually have some pretty great friends as a support network, and that I think may actually be the best part of being a second year teacher.

Yeah.  This definitely helped.  Hope it helps you too!
Tweets by @tomatopolish