Over the weekend, as I logged extra hours at school (organizing last minute details, refining later lesson plans, and coordinating my head space), I can't help my brain from jumping all over the place: Am I forgetting something? Do I have all my materials ready for each of my first classes? Should I vacuum my apartment this weekend? What about second period? What else do I need to do? I must be forgetting something...
And yet for the most part, I think I'm ready. Or at least, ready enough to get through the first week. The planner in me really wishes I had everything until Chuseok planned (about 7 weeks away for those of you unfamiliar with Korean holidays. ㅎㅎ). A bit unrealistic, I know. Especially as I haven't met my students yet and they are often the confounding variable to even the best plans.
Thinking about the start of school, I find myself turning through the pages of the teaching journal I started in university at the prompting of my history curriculum prof (shout out to Ted Christou! Who will probably never read this. Oh well...). Of course this journal was a ploy to get us to reflect even more on everything. (If there was a contest for words over-used at the Fac of Ed, reflect* would be a top contender. Differentiation would be a close second, and yes I recognize the value of reflection. Which is why I feel like I have a right to mock it as well).
In looking back through this journal, I found entries about my thoughts before I entered my placement, before I taught my first lesson, after I'd been teaching for a week and ideas for things I'd like to try in my classroom. It's interesting now to see what I was worried about then in comparison to now. Fears about whether the technology would work, whether I'd forget key information, or whether the students wouldn't see me as a teacher. Here's an excerpt from the day before I entered one of my longer placements:
Coming from the ConEd side of things, I think I should feel somewhat more at ease, and yet not so much. I feel antsy and have the feeling in my chest of nervous giggles waiting to escape--like bubbles rising up in a glass of pop, anxious to break the surface.
Oddly enough, at this moment in time, it's not even the students that are making me nervous. It's my host teacher. And the other staff. Right now, I'm worrying about the impression I'll make on them. What if we don't get along? What if they don't see me as a Teacher Candidate? What if I say something stupid? (I have since learned this is not an IF but a matter of WHEN ㅋㅋ).
As silly as it may seem, as I sit in my room this Monday night, I can honestly say that it's been a few years since I've worried and debated (internally) so much about what I'm going to wear the first day of school. Cue the feelings of "childish-ness."
I'm happy to say that I am no longer worried about my coworkers. I would make an argument that I have some of the best coworkers in the world.
Tomorrow, I'll be meeting a couple of my homeroom students and their parents. Where I think this would have once freaked me out (especially to the point of worrying about my outfit!), I am more excited and disappointed that only a couple parents signed up for a slot. I really wanted to make that connection and open the home dialogue early on. Hopefully the ones that didn't sign up still come wandering through for a quick hello!
For the most part, as I think about tomorrow and this week, I feel calm. First day jitters? Worries? Ob-seo-yo! My co-teachers and I have some really exciting things (I think they are exciting and thus they must be!) planned for this year and I really hope that the students can get into the new routines and ideas. Woot!
And on that note of positive energy, I'm going to bed. Please enjoy this (old) pep talk from the kid president.
Love and Hugs