Today is the final day of prep before students arrive on Tuesday.
Although I nearly finished getting my classroom together on Friday, I still have a few final touches to add…folders to hang, labels to print, agendas to place into frames.
I’m especially grateful to one of my fellow reading teachers. She gave up precious planning time to hang bulletin board paper and borders for me.
These are things they don’t teach you in the alternative certification program, and after wasting a few hours trying on my own, I called my friend for help.
My bulletin boards look AMAZING!
Because my room is ready, I will spend some time waiting for a copier to become available. My lesson plans are ready for the week, and I want to get all of my handouts set up.
After that, I’ll be checking in on a couple of our teachers. There are quite a few new teachers at my school, and I’ll be mentoring a couple of them.
It’s an interesting thing…this teaching profession. Teaching is cyclical. To learn how to teach, an educator must become a student. As skills grow, support from mentors is lessened until one day, the teacher stands on his/her own. Gradually, that teacher turns around to become a mentor to another teacher-in-training.
This is where I am right now, and I’m a little scared.
This will be my fifth year teaching…my fourth as an Intensive Reading teacher.
I’ve been blessed to have experienced educators as mentors and friends.
Barb is one of them. She set the example by working long, hard hours. She taught me how to build relationships with students…how to teach a classroom of boys who couldn’t attain for more than ten minutes…how to put the perfect book in the hands of a reluctant reader.
Cinda, another mentor/friend, taught me the art of reflection. She modeled lessons that engaged students and required them to take ownership of their learning. She is still in the process of teaching me to take lessons to a higher level.
I’ve enjoyed soaking in their knowledge and rising to the challenge of thinking deeply about my teaching.
That’s why I feel sad because Barb has been assigned to another school in town. I am happy for that school and my friend, Carol, the principal (another mentor/friend), but I also feel like a fish floundering around in shallow water, not sure where to go for my life water.
I don’t do change very well.
It’s at this time that I’m being asked to step up and use the knowledge I’ve gained over the last four years to help new teacher babies.
I love helping people and do it without thinking, but I’ll admit that I’m a little scared.
For the last four years, my sole focus has been on learning how to properly run a classroom and how to write lesson plans that encompass all learners. I’ve also spent hundreds of hours completing work to obtain the various certifications I need to teach reading.
I can’t say that I’ve taken much of a leadership role at school, preferring to follow the paths that others have set.
I can’t do that any more.
Heck, if everyone stayed in their comfort zones, society would never experience progress, eh?
That is why I’m gong to pull up my big girl pants and dig into the new challenges I’ve been presented with.
I don’t think I’ve mentioned that I’m also going to be the lead reading teacher…the liaison between the district and our school…responsible for relaying information about District reading mandates with staff at my school.
Talk about nervous!!! Whew!
This year promises to be an interesting one, let me tell you, what with new standards, a new and very difficult state reading exam, and new responsibilities.
I’m going to have to be like my students, learn as much as I can, and dream big…all the while keeping my eyes focused on the sole purpose I got into teaching…helping the precious babies who will walk through my door stretch their thinking in order to reach the potential that lies inside them.