Tomorrow begins my second and final year of commitment for Teach For America.
I remember hearing about how much more peaceful and prepared you feel going into your second year. I feel like I can respect that thought and there are for sure things I’m feeling confident about the fact that I’m familiar with what it looks like to even go into a classroom and teach a group of kids.
However, I’d be lying if I said I was ready and excited for this year to begin. I have been able to maintain a lot of relationships with my students from last year, which has served as a great reminder for why I am here. But there are so many aspects of this year that are going to be another fresh start with things I’m unfamiliar with. We have a new principal, we have a new curriculum, we have a grant that has been awarded to our school (which we’ve been informed is extremely challenging and work heavy), and I am teaching a new grade, 5th. Luckily it wasn’t a huge jump from 6th grade, but I also found out a few weeks ago that I’d be the only 5th grade teacher. Looking at the numbers from 4th grade last year it seems promising that I’m going to have a large group, which therefore has made me feel anxious about any type of academic gains I’m going to be able to make.
I’ve had stomach aches since literally mid-June every night thinking about going back. And it’s not because I don’t like my job, or my students, or being a teacher. But truthfully, I just hope I am the best thing for these kids. It’s one thing to be a good mentor…it’s a whole other thing to be a good teacher. And honestly, I’m not sure the latter is a true statement about me.
I’m happy to know this year how to maintain a social life, set boundaries on how long to work/stay at school, somewhat long-term plan, and a better feel for what it looks like to be a teacher in general. I just hope by May that’s not all I have to say about my year.
Here goes year 2 – clinging to the same verse that brought me to apply on December 14, 2010 and accept the offer April 7, 2011:
“Then I heard the voice of the LORD saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here I am. Send me.” – Isaiah 6:8