First Day Jitters
I am really nervous about the first day of school. That’s what I keep thinking. I am very excited about this upcoming year, but I am really nervous about the first day of school. Every young teacher, I’m sure, worries and frets, anticipating that moment of first standing in front of the class. How will they see me? Will they respect me, or be laughing inside? What if they’re laughing outside?
I am a “young teacher”. Well, to be honest, I am almost 47 years old, and that’s not very young. But I am a new teacher, ready to begin only my second year in the classroom. In terms of experience, I am very young; green even. So I AM nervous, worried and fretful, and excited as I prepare for the first day of class.
With the beginning of this new school year, I have knowledge that gives me a huge advantage over the first-year teacher. I know people. I know procedures. I know a little bit about the curriculum and learning goals of the school system. I know all the programs and initiatives of my school. I even know a bit about students. I know who to call for help. I know when to cry for help.
But there is so much to learn still. To be a teacher you must be open to learning yourself. You must metacognitive - to use a teacher word - so you will recognize the learning opportunity each day, each moment, brings. You must seek out mentors who can teach you and are willing to share their great ideas. And you must share in return. Sometimes new teacher ideas are great ideas.
How am I preparing for that first day of school? I’m looking at my textbooks again, to refresh my memory of how each class begins. I’m studying the pacing guides we’re required to follow. I’m reading the newspaper each day to make sure I’m current on what’s happening in the world. I’m trying to sleep late, eat well, and get my positive energy flowing. I’m connecting with my fellow teachers, tapping into their positive energy flows. I’m trying to forget about being nervous, worried and fretful. I know that, ready or not, those students will arrive.