Sunday, August 26, 2012

T-minus one sleep

Seems like this is the right time to blog; tomorrow is my first day with students at a new school.

Things I'm feeling nervous about:

  • I don't understand tomorrow's bell schedule.
  • I somehow ended up with an advisory when I didn't think I was supposed to have one. 
  • WHAT DO I DO WITH SIXTH GRADERS???? They are so small. 
  • When my principal handed me my rosters, there is a student whose name he circled multiple times. 
  • When I left my classroom today, it was still in shambles. Will the guy I'm sharing with clean it up? 
  • I am so far behind on planning. Already. 
  • I don't know if I can make it through an entire day in heels. 
  • The posters I hung up in my room are unevenly spaced and it's going to drive me crazy, but I also re-hung them twice, so I couldn't deal with fixing them. By the time I'm ready to fix them, will I be able to find a ladder again? 
Things I'm feeling less nervous about:

  • Tomorrow's lesson is easy. And it doesn't matter if kids learn anything. 
  • My classes are teeny-tiny. 20 or 24 kids? Five or six groups? That's nothing! I had nine groups in my first geometry class. 
  • The coffee is sitting in the coffee maker and all I have to do is press "brew" in the morning. 
This is by far the least nervous I've ever felt, at least about the teaching part. Here is the thing that calmed me: a teacher nightmare. Almost without fail, before the beginning of the school year or before I'm about to teach a brand new lesson, I have a dream where the first day or new lesson plays out, and of course everything goes wrong. Earlier this summer I had one of those dreams. It was the first day of school, and in typical nightmare fashion dream-me had somehow screwed up my schedule and had forgotten that I had a first period algebra class. And there were visitors from some important organization observing our classes. Luckily, one of my new colleagues (who is a first year teacher!) took over for me. But still, not the way to start your first day.

But here's why I'm feeling better: in the dream, I took that time when my colleague was covering my class and started planning for my afternoon geometry classes that I realized I had to teach. And even though planning 10 minutes before a class starts is never ideal, in the dream I knew I had tons of resources to pull from. I knew exactly what documents to pull up, what copies I needed to make, what general run-down I could use to make sense of the lesson plan. The dream was definitely a nightmare, but it wasn't unbearable.

Tomorrow I know (think?) that I don't have a first period algebra class, I am planned for my geometry classes, and even though a researcher really is coming to watch my 5th period, I am not nervous about her presence. Does this mean I'm reaching a new stage in my teaching? In so many ways I still feel as green as ever.

1 comment:

betweenthenumbers said...

You're going to love sixth graders. They are super-fun.

I know exactly what you mean about teacher nightmares. It really isn't fair to get them in the middle of the summer. Basically anytime I'm feeling anxious about something, it materializes in a teacher nightmare--even when the issue is not about teaching!

Good luck today (not that you need it). Have fun. And get to know that circled kid really well!