Fresh Starts

Admit it. No matter how many years you have under your belt, the start of the year brings excitement bundled with nerves.

New is starting to get old, but there’s an upside. A room with a clean whiteboard can present an opportunity to reset and reboot.

my new teaching space this year

Set up with student desks and materials yet to be moved out, the room I will live in for the next year will soon be transforming.  No longer housing students, the space will be set up to facilitate technology integration with teachers. Tables will replace departing desks. 

Out with the old, in with the new. It’s time to make room for first year teachers launching their careers.

Others, like me, are detouring on our educational journey by taking on new roles or changing buildings. Admit it. No matter how many years you have under your belt, the start of the year brings excitement bundled with nerves.

I started teaching in my “home” district right after I completed my teaching certification.  I finished my program on a Friday, moved into my new house in a new town on Saturday, and showed up at school on Monday.  Joining a school mid-year was not easy.  I was thrown into co-teaching with strangers, shared a room with another ESL teacher (also a stranger) and had to learn the school’s culture that had been established before I arrived. I promised myself to make “new” people feel welcome, so the culture shock wouldn’t be so jarring.

I left my county for a neighboring district two years ago.  More new co-teachers, curriculum and  high school students who were very different from the fourth and fifth graders I had grown comfortable teaching.  I had to learn new procedures, again established long before I got there.  I was granted a transfer request to a middle school after my first semester.  There I was again, joining a ship already cruising toward the end of the year.  August rolled around and although I was now a returning a staff member, the school year brought more staffing changes.  I shifted grade levels.  New team.  New hires.  New interns.  New assessments.  New district initiatives.

New is starting to get old, but there’s an upside. A room with a clean whiteboard can present an opportunity to reset and reboot.

My friend Teresa, my first curriculum coach, used to say that we are all Beginning Teachers every fall because we get a new crop of kids. While there’s a steep learning curve when we start getting to know our new students, it’s even steeper for someone making a change in our school this year. Below is my to-do/wish list for the start of this year that I think will ease my transition.

What would you put on your wish/to-do list to make life easier this year?

After all, in one way or another, everyone’s new in August.  

 

“Classroom” photo by Tori Mazur

Piktochart by Tori Mazur (blank template)

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