This is my last week of summer. As sad as it is to come to that realization, I am ready to get going again. This past year was, by far, the hardest year of my life. Not only with being a first year teacher, but elders quorum president, relationships and everything else. It was also a great year, don't get me wrong, but it was very hard.
I am very excited to take what I learned from my first year of teaching and keep improving every day. I feel much more prepared this year. I have a lot more confidence and many great people around me that I can call my friends. This was not how I felt last year, especially a few months in.
I came in with high expectations, I have always excelled in the things that I do. When compared to my peers I was always right there with them or above. I scored in the top 15% on the Praxis without studying one minute, I had great reviews from student teaching and I was totally confident that I was going to be a great teacher. I have never really failed at anything or felt like I was not good at something.
Unfortunately, I was no longer among my peers when I started teaching. On my team I was the youngest, the only male, and the only one without children. So they all had a lot more experience working with children and teaching and life in general.
I didn’t feel like I could relate to anyone else at my school. I felt alone, I didn't know what I was doing, and all I heard was what I needed to do better, no, different. I tried hard, and I felt like I was a quick learner, but I honestly did have a long way to go. I officially was not great at something.
There were times where I just felt like I made a big mistake going into teaching, I was not good at it, I was ready to quit. I actually remember one night, thinking tomorrow I am going to tell them I quit. Of course, luckily, I didn’t. (I don’t know what I would have done, there was nothing else I wanted to do, I love teaching) I honestly thought they would have been glad if I did though.
I still don’t feel like I really “fit in” at school. I am still the only young single guy, but I can truly say that some of my best friends are teachers at Freedom Elementary. I don’t know how many times I went next door and talked to Stevie, or Dana. I also feel like I became good friends with the third grade team and several others. If I need someone to talk to I know so many people have my back. Our administration was so helpful as well, especially when we would have classes and they would teach us and tell us what they expected. Just like my students sometimes I needed to be taught as well.
Sometimes we all just need a second chance. No matter what I hear about my students I am about to get, I don’t worry about it. They get a second chance with me. I am glad I get a second chance, or year to be a teacher. I am confident, positive, and ready to excel. Hopefully this year it’s justified. Bring it on, i'm ready!