So I became a full fledge teacher in August of 2015. I passed all of my tests, graduated grad school with two masters degrees, and was ready for what I thought teaching would be. Well ladies and gentlemen, I was wrong.
When I was student teaching I noticed that I was good at being a student; taking notes, studying for tests, completing massive amounts of reading, and organizing. But what I was NOT good at…. being a regular teacher. I could get up in front of a class and spew my guts out about the stuff that I had known and learned, but the kids looked at me like I had lobsters for a head. Thats when I knew I was going to be a special teacher… a Ms. Frizzle type, dancing around, yelling, singing, wild teacher.
My first teaching job out of college was at a residential facility for troubled youth, and I know what you’re thinking, “is this girl crazy?” It was by no means a walk in the park, but for some reason, I really loved it. I was good at dealing with behaviors, I liked figuring out what triggered students, how to deal with them in certain situations, and how to work on an excellent staff team. I learned a lot from the teachers, teaching assistants and the administration there, but after a year I was ready for a different challenge.
The next year I began working at the school that I am currently at, and it was the best move for me. I work as a middle school science special education teacher in a small ratio program. I have six magical middles most of the day and a few other classes rotate in for science throughout the day.
Here I learned how to be a combination of a police officer and a mom (it is true, working with middle school boys is similar to taming dinosaurs). I have learned how to balance rewards and consequences. I have learned to laugh at the CRAZY things that come out of their little mouths (Ms. Waldron we live on this Earth with protons, neutrons, electrons, and morons – said during my APPR evaluation lol). I have learned that I have amazing teammates, and I don’t have to do everything on my own.
I have also learned what it feels like to impact a child’s life. To make them better. To help them learn. To feed them when they are hungry. To play a game with them. To let them cry. To let them scream. To let them be frustrated. To pick them up. To sing with them. To dance around with them. To give them hugs. To be as wild as they are. To remind them how awesome they are.
My kiddos have taught me more in this year, than I have learned in my whole life. They taught me that being a good teacher, makes good humans.