Friday, June 28, 2013

Teaching: The First Year

We're about a month into summer break and I wanted to share what my 1st year of teaching was like. If I could describe it in one word, it would be: WOW.

I got married 1 week before school started and was not at all prepared for the stress ahead of me.  The first semester was really hard for me (and typically is for first year teachers).  Did I mention that I was an intern?  I taught the whole school year as if I were a certified teacher when, in fact, I had no experience!  Each day I was frantically trying to come up with a good lesson for my students, I was learning how to teach, and how to manage my classroom.  However, I was not without help. I had an amazing adviser from BYU that would check up on & help me weekly, along with exceptional teachers in my department that really paved the way for me to teach successfully.  I actually was teaching at the junior high school that I attended 12 years ago and taught along side with many teachers that used to have me as a student. This was definitely an ideal school & district to have an internship in.

Things started off exciting, but quickly went downhill when all of my health problems (migraines, back problems, & anxiety) amplified a LOT during this period. I was getting too overwhelmed & didn't think I could keep teaching.  However, with help from my parents, doctor, as well as that from the other science teachers and administrators at Oak Canyon, I was able to get things under control & finish what I started.  One thing that helped A LOT was adjusting my class schedule for 2nd semester so that I'd only be teaching 7th grade instead of both 7th & 8th (cutting my lesson preparations in half).  I was sad to see my 8th graders go, but in return I gained some amazing 7th graders.

2nd Semester was the time when I really got to know my students better and enjoy & improve upon my teaching.  This is when I realized that I chose the right career!  Small moments like seeing a student understand a concept really well or receiving acknowledgement from a student or parent that I had helped them made EVERYTHING worth it!

It takes an immense amount of work to be a good teaching, and seems to be something I'll have to consistently work towards.  But I can't imagine much that is more rewarding & fulfilling in a career.  I'm looking forward to teaching next year (although I'll be teaching at a different school due to lack of funding) and am grateful for my awesome students from the 2012-2013 school for making me want to stay a teacher for the rest of my life!