Yesterday marked one month until I will start as a first year Middle School English Teacher, and I keep cycling through waves of nervousness and excitement as I contemplate having my own classroom (!!!). My students have been assigned, I know my room number, and I've taken my ID picture (completely forgot it was happening on that particular day and showed up with my hair in a last minute bun). I've gone to plenty of trainings this summer and read several books on different teaching/grading/reading philosophies, and yet I know I'm just going to have to learn as I go while relying on all the hard work I've already done!
How I became a teacher
Becoming a teacher would mean quitting my job and returning to school. Even though I hated what I was doing, it still provided a steady income that was helping to put my husband through medical school. Quitting meant more debt and no guarantee that I would be able to find work when all was said and done, but we both agreed that it would be worth it for my sanity and our future.
Within a few months, I was unemployed and back in school. I took classes year round through three different institutions and worked as a substitute teacher when I could. Even though I'd only been out of school for a few years, it was still intimidating to go back, but I wanted to be certified through an accredited university.
Finally, it was time to student teach. I chose a district I knew little about simply because its location was convenient. Shortly thereafter, I was assigned to a 6th grade GT ELAR teacher at a middle school I'd never heard of- little did I know how perfectly everything was lining up for me! My student teaching experience was amazing. My mentor teacher gave me every opportunity, my district's philosophies were perfectly aligned with my own, and I felt reassured daily that I had made the right decision.
Toward the end of my student teaching experience, the principal offered me an interview and within 24 hours had offered me a job. Words cannot describe how grateful I am for where I am today. I took a leap of faith and feel my journey here has been guided every step of the way. I feel lucky to have my dream job, and I know it is no coincidence that I have ended up where I am.
Why I became a Teacher
Middle school students are at a crucial time in their lives. They are figuring out who they are and deciding what direction their life will take. I feel that most middle schoolers are misunderstood and in great need of teachers who care about them and won't give up on them. Plus, they're young without being too young, and, given the chance, they are often willing and able to step up when it counts. Having studied human development for my undergraduate degree, I feel called upon to work with these students at this time when their lives are really just starting.
What's more, I LOVE the content taught in Middle School Language Arts classrooms. I am passionate about reading and writing- I mean, shouldn't teachers of reading and writing be readers and writers themselves??? I have so much fun planning my lessons and incorporating young adult literature. It's still a challenge to make things interesting for all students at this level, but it's a challenge I thoroughly enjoy.
And SO, with less than a month left until the 2014-2015 school year, I've got plenty to keep me busy between setting up my classroom, writing lessons, and attending trainings. Time is going to fly, but I'm as ready as I'll ever be!
And of course, any advice is more than welcome :)