Besides the obvious anxieties about getting everything together: planning for at least my first week (if not more), organizing the classroom space, and prepping for meeting students and parents and making that solid first impression, there are additional anxieties beginning to build as I start out on this new journey. To say that I want to be a really great teacher would be an understatement. My brother, knowing me maybe a little too well, has already told me that I shouldn’t expect perfection my first year, and that this would be true for any job, let alone one that requires as much experiential, on the job training/learning, as teaching does. The expectations I have for myself have been, and probably always will be high, but hopefully I can remember those words when I’m swimming in a sea of papers or a lesson plan gone awry. My college supervisor, the good one anyway, told me that aiming high was a good character trait as long as I did not fall into total discouragement when things do not work out quite as I imagine and learn to see this as an opportunity to reflect, reevaluate, and keep going. I hope I remember that as well.
But still I have worries.
I worry about working in such a comparatively small school and being the newbie amongst teachers who have already grown solid relationships with each other. I worry about filling the shoes of the person that had that space. Yes, I too worry about fitting in!
I worry about really understanding this age group: will what I choose to teach and how I choose to teach it be too challenging for them, or too easy. Will I know enough to make their learning a reachable challenge? I wish I had observed at least one sixth grade classroom in all my months of observing…but unfortunately I did not.
I worry about planning. You’d think planning would be a given and something I don’t worry about anymore, but I’m not sure that I’ve yet found the happy medium between planning too much and planning too little. Planning too much means the building up of stress and inflexibility, but planning too little brings the risk that students aren’t growing so much as just completing activities and projects and checking off assignments completed as opposed to thinking about what they’ve learned.
There’s more that I worry about, but that’s mostly been all blended together into an “in general” pile of what if’s that unfortunately my brain seems incapable of avoiding all together…even after learning/realizing how futile it is to worry about anything. Don’t get me wrong I’m excited, happy, and everything else that goes along with starting something new also.
My next step: STOP WORRYING. Just teach. Rinse. Repeat.