In my blogging calendar, something I’ve been trying to stick to lately, I had thought about writing a post on my favorite accessory, the scarf. Not that blogging about scarves is a bad thing but I’ve been thinking a lot more about being authentic on my blog. I love scarves but some other things have been weighing on my mind lately. I want my readers, whoever you are, to get to know me and to maybe connect with you all on some level. At the same time, I want to get some thoughts out in the air, out of the confines of my mind, and I’m going to throw it out here on the internet, whether that’s good or bad.
Now I might have mentioned it here a few times in passing but next week I am going to assume the responsibilities of a third grade classroom while the current teacher goes out on maternity leave. I am a teacher and I taught kindergarten this fall (which is like elementary teacher boot camp) but I have to admit I am nervous in a way I didn’t think I would be. For the past four months, I’ve been subbing with tutoring in the afternoon. While being a sub is incredibly difficult, there’s none of the pressure of being a classroom teacher and I’m getting some butterflies as I think about being a full time classroom teacher again. A teacher’s day is not just come in and stand in front of the kids and magical learning takes place; it’s a mess of planning and photocopying and creative thinking and paper pushing and pretty much being the primary caregiver for twenty-four kids for six hours during the day.
But you’ve done it all before, you say. I have, I’ve taught my own class along with its own headaches and triumphs. But that was a completely different grade with its own expectations and curriculum or plan for learning. Imagine it this way: you work at a company and you do your job really well and then they decide to move you to another department that does essentially the same thing but with different goals, is way more advanced and with vastly different expectations. I think this is at the center of my heart palpitations; it’s a whole new ball game but one played on a completely different field. Throw in a whole new class of kids with names to learn and to make a connection with, I’m trying not to faint here.
What I’ve been trying to tell myself is that I believe in me. Whenever something new comes my way, whenever change is in the air, I try to remember that I know me. I am capable of so much more than I think and I am really good at being me. I know I am a good teacher; I’ve seen incredible progress in the learning lives of the students I’ve worked with. Some parents of my new class have reached out to me and said their children are excited to have me as their teacher because they know me as “the best substitute teacher.” Sorry for the little bit of bragging but I’m going to dig myself out of the trenches of self-doubt any way I know how.
Do something new and accepting change is always hard for me. Change has been a constant in my life lately but in a way that’s good. I know I can handle this new change and be the best teacher I can be. So if you too are experiencing change now or in the future, know this: you can do it.
*On an unrelated note: I hope that you will keep the runners and bystanders that were affected by the bombings at yesterday’s Boston Marathon. Please pray that our world can some day be a world of peace and love.