So, it turns out that I’m not great at this blogging thing–I get really, really, really lazy. It’s been over a month since my last post and there’s actually a lot I could have/should have written about. Lucky for you, here is my attempt to catch you up 🙂
The end of Institute
By the time July 3rd came around, I was sooooo ready for Institute to be over. Goodbye, 4:30 AM alarm; goodbye, 6:10 AM bus rides & goodbye, Georgia Tech cafeteria food. But that also meant saying some bittersweet goodbyes. I had to say goodbye to my teaching collab. When you spend 10 hours a day for 5 weeks with a group of people–teaching, learning, complaining, venting, laughing, reflecting, and sometimes drinking–you become close and true friendships are formed. A lot of people didn’t have good relationships with the other teachers in their group, but I did and for that I am grateful. These folks were absolutely amazing and I know they’re going to do some pretty cool things in New Orleans, Nashville, and this new home of mine- Atlanta, but it was still sad to see them go.
The end of Institute also meant saying goodbye to all of the resources that were right at my fingertips. Among these was my CMA, Michaela. Her support, encouragement, advice & feedback was incredibly beneficial. She taught me, by example, so much about what it means to be a great teacher (and how to write fabulous lesson plans!).
The end of Institute also meant saying the hardest goodbye of all: to my kids. I had no idea how much I would come to love these kids in just 3 short weeks. I think part of what made these goodbyes particularly hard, was knowing that they’re still academically behind their peers and not knowing what their futures hold. In the few weeks that these precious children were under my care I watched them grow, learn, laugh, be silly & even cry, but most importantly I watched as them begin to believe that they themselves could change the world. Even now, I tear up and smile when I think about how proud I am of the progress they made this summer. I still struggle with not knowing what their futures hold and with knowing that these are just 15 out of millions of kids who are significantly behind, but I find incredible comfort in knowing that even if just one of them is changed through this summer, it’s all worth it.
Reporting for duty in….36 hours…WHAT?!
On Monday, I report to Clayton County’s New Teacher Orientation!! It would be an understatement to simply say that I am excited. Not going to lie though, a tiny part of me (okay, a pretty big part of me) is absolutely terrified. On August 12th, when the kids return to school, I will be responsible for making sure that they are learning what they need to be to pass the CRCT test at the end of the year (in case you don’t know, I’m teaching 6th Special Education English Language Arts). That’s a lot of pressure, especially considering that a lot of my kids will be below grade level and all of them will have a disability or impairment of some type.
In a lot of ways, I still feel very unprepared and inadequate to be the teacher that my students will need. And maybe I am, After all, I’m just a 21-year old with a psych degree and only 3 weeks of teaching experience. But here’s what I’ve realized: no matter how unqualified I think I am right now, I am going to become qualified because that’s what my students need. Sure, I’ll make mistakes, learn some lessons the difficult way, and waste time doing the hard way at first, but I am going to learn and I am going to become the best that I can be. Because that’s what my students deserve.