I promised that I'd make good on my intentions to chronicle my first year as a full-tim teacher. I ran across this reflection I wrote for my Principal after my first week and thought I'd share. This was written early in September 2009 and is a valuable reminder to me as I being the 4th quarter of this school year.
Reflections of my first week…
First and foremost, I feel a huge sense of accomplishment at having “done” back to school for the first time ever. I feel the seating charts, working out procedures, classroom organization, and the myriad other preparations over which I labored were time well spent. The procedures are taking hold, and my desire to instill organization in the students will be realized. Eventually. There have been certain class periods in the first week during which I didn’t have enough planned for the students and they had more “silent reading” time than they should have, something I need to improve on, and I do struggle to remember some students’ names. The getting to know you activities for each of my classes worked well. These activities gave students a chance to interact as well as giving me a chance to learn about each of them as individuals and as students. By Thursday, I had a huge feeling of being overwhelmed with all the initial assessment work and placing students where they could best learn, the experience felt like climbing Everest. Fortunately, I’ve been at “base camp” for a little longer and I am feeling more acclimated.
However when my alarm went off this morning, it awakened me from a vivid dream. My dream involved me driving a semi. It’s fuzzy why I was even attempting this, since I don’t actually drive anything bigger than my little car these days, but I was partially blindfolded as I was driving. I was told by my mother, in this dream, that I had to drive this manual transmission semi, fully loaded, over the Grapevine. I haven’t driven a manual transmission in probably 10 years and have never even pondered how many gears one of these leviathans actually have, much less the level of effort needed to navigate this monster over these mountains in traffic. But I had to learn this seemingly impossible task on the fly and do it safely so as not to endanger my mom, in the car behind me, and the other drivers on the road. My husband laughed when I told him my dream, saying that was exactly what I was doing here in my first year of teaching.