I just wrapped up my first year teaching high school English…it has been a journey. When people say teaching is not one of those “try it on for size” jobs, what they really mean is if you’re going to be a teacher you need to have heart. My 9 month hiatus was due to my new position in my educational career. I wanted to be fully dedicated to my new job and focused on making sure I was a damn good teacher.
What a year it has been! The perfect word to sum up my experience would be “challenging.” There were very good days, where my students were actually interested in learning and then those days when my students called me every other name but my own. Oh, the adolescents of today are truly one of a kind. There were days I couldn’t wait to run home and cry, there were days I couldn’t find a good reason to get out of bed in the morning for work, days I had to walk out of class to catch my thoughts for a second and days I just kirked out on my students. I’ve learned teaching is not just instruction and activities, teaching is being a cheerleader, mother, sister, friend, counselor, cousin and auntie. With so much responsibility sometimes I thought I was going to lose it. My first year teaching was one of those experiences where you’d quit if you were a sane individual after the first month. This past school year has left a permanent scar in my matriculation through the education system. Surprisingly, I wouldn’t change it for anything!
In the last month of the school year, all my colleagues were well aware I was not returning for the following school year. This last month solidified why I became a teacher in the first place. My colleagues were saying their thank you’s and sad that I was leaving the school, but so happy to have had met me. They complimented me on my teaching skills and told me they could tell I really cared about my students. I gave my students an assignment to write a letter to their most influential teacher and most wrote letters to me. I cried like a big baby reading those letters, because my students were so appreciative all the time we shared with each other. I honestly felt like I had failed my students, but they assured me the lessons I taught them will stay with them forever. My heart was touched and to get the recognition I worked so hard for all school year made this year one of the best experiences yet.
Although I had been through hell and back, it made me a stronger teacher and I am thankful I was allowed the opportunity. I am full of optimism in my next chapter of teaching. I’ll be at a new school and I am praying for a positive and enriching school year!