My First Year of Teaching + Q&A

Monday, June 10, 2019

WOW....where has the time gone! One minute I was starting my first day of my first year as a teacher and then next thing I know I finished my first year teaching!
If you thought I had dropped off the face of the earth (due to my absence from the blog) this is where I have the classroom. At the beginning of the semester I thought I would be able to balance teaching and blogging, but blogging quickly took a back seat as teaching became priority and all my time went into creating lessons or re-charging/sleeping. 
Needless to say life has been CRAZY......but a good crazy! I used to think college was the craziest time of my life, but teaching has definitely beat that! 
I truly don't think I have been more exhausted in my life! From early mornings to busy days it has definitely been an adjustment for this Introvert but I have loved every minute of it. 
It is definitely different having my own classroom where I am in charge, get to make the rules, and teach every day. My students constantly amaze me with their whit, humor, crazy antics, brilliant brains, nuggets of advice and laughter.
I feel like I could write PAGES on everything that happened my first year of teaching, but I wanted to fill all of you wonderful readers in on this new chapter of my life! On a quick note though, if you do want to read more of my thoughts on teaching I did create a teacher blog called The Frizzle File.

If i were to say one thing about my first year I would definitely say that it was everything I thought and at the same time so much more than I ever imagined. There were definitely hard days, but there were so many amazing days as well. There were so many tough moments, while also so many moments that made everything worth it!

I got some questions about teaching from people on Instagram and thought I would take some time to answer them here:

1) What was something that surprised you about teaching?

I think there were definitely so many things that surprised me! You hear so many stories about teaching, but it doesn't become real until you become a teacher yourself. I was definitely surprised by how quickly I grew to love all of my students. I think so many of the things were less of a "surprise" and more so a confirmation of why teaching is so important and a rewarding profession. I was reminded of how important building relationships with students is and also how important it is to see students for who they are and encourage them to reach their full potential. 

2) What was the hardest part about teaching?
I think as an Introvert there are days where teaching is harder for me than other people. However, the hardest part about teaching is definitely dealing with conflicts within the classroom between students, or students not respecting your class, rules or methods. Thankfully I didn't have to deal with to many serious issues, but seeing students wrestle through their own battles (be it with friends, family, or life) is always tough. 

3) What is one thing that is different than expected?
I don't think I really expected to generally look forward to school every day, even on the tough days.I didn't expect to be this EXHAUSTED, but knowing my personality as an introvert it makes since...I seriously have not been this exhausted ever in my life! I also didn't expect to grow so much as a person. I was also blessed to be working at an incredible school and daily be surrounded by amazing people who really support each other as well as having some of the best administration and specialists who let me try new things and support me taking risks. 

4) What did you have to major in to teach the class you do?
I majored in "Family and Consumer Science" (what was previously known as Home Economics) and minored in Education. I got a major in the actual classes that I teach, but most Family and Consumer Science teachers often get alternate certification to teach our classes. When you are certified in FACS you can teach close to 15 different classes that all have specific career paths for students and are honestly really fun to teach! 

5) What are the best ways to stay organized?
I teeter between being very organized and not organized what so's more so organized chaos as I see it, but my students all think my room is very organized. When it comes to my classroom everything has a specific place and I Label EVERYTHING so that we always know where things are or where they go. I also like to use color coding to help me keep all of my many classes organized and keep track of student work. I have a planner that I try to keep updated with my plans, but often times I end of putting things into my phone calendar so that I get reminders. 
Also...I would be LOST without sticky notes...I seriously use them all the time and they help me stay on task & remember what I am supposed to do. 

6) Are the rumors true about how much the after school work affects your personal life?
Yes & No :) Honestly, if you are an organized person and take the time in the summer to plan things out you will not have to worry about so much outside planning during the year. However, a teachers job honestly doesn't stop at the end of the school day. I did work on lesson plans and activities most nights and weekends (but I also had 4 different classes I was teaching). Also, I don't have as much of a personal life as some it didn't affect it do drastically. I think this is where being organized is important and making sure you have things planned ahead of time. I think you have to remember what you can control, and the amount of after school work is definitely something you can have the ability to control, so be aware of that and know when you need a break. 

7) Do you have to deal with all the gossip and drama as a secondary school teacher?
Yes, but again, you get to control what you surround yourself with. The negativity, gossip, and drama are always a part of any school atmosphere, but you don't have to be a part of it. Thankfully my classroom is in a hallway at the back of the school so I honestly don't come into contact with a lot of teachers outside of my team every day, plus I never go to the teachers lounge. I am a pretty positive person and I like staying upbeat about things, so I never like putting myself in a position to be surrounded by negativity. 

9) How is it being an introvert and a teacher with kids who have a lot of energy?
It is definitely draining! At the end of every day I am always drained and exhausted and usually come home and rest for 1-2 hours. So yes, being an introvert teacher around energy filled kids can be crazy at times, but it also is amazing. As an introvert we have the ability to sense things in others that not everyone can see, so I am always able to tell things about my students such as their mood, their personality, and my favorite...their potential! While being a teacher puts me in an environment that triggers my weaknesses as an introvert every day, it also allows me to draw upon the strengths of my personality & I truly think that Introverts have superpowers as teachers! 

Do you have more questions about teaching? Leave them in the comments below! 

- Madison