10 Things I’ve Learned in My First Two Weeks of Teaching

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  1. You will either lose or gain weight. There is no balance. Personally, I’ve lost weight from the constant walking around, bending over, and being so busy that food is a mere afterthought. What is food? What are friends? Is this a healthy lifestyle? Don’t answer that.
  2. Grammar can be dirty and kids don’t let anything go. Case in point: we are correcting a grammar practice paragraph and the word “adventure” is spelled like “aventure.” One student points it out. I say, “Good, so we need to insert the d…” INSERT THE D, y’all. They laughed for 5 minutes straight.
  3. Nothing you say is secret. They will talk about you behind your back. You will mention privately to one student that you’ve merely heard of one band they like and next thing you know, three students have said to you, “Ay, Ms. Pickle, I heard you’re a fan of Suicide Silence.” Good, good. Definitely tell your parents that. Also tell them that you’ve nicknamed me after a phallic symbol.
  4. They will do very strange things. You will look up from reading a short story and a student will have their shirt pulled completely over their head. A student will be laughing and suddenly throw themselves out of their desk. You’ll be teaching and a student will somehow appear next to you asking a question completely unrelated to anything remotely relevant.
  5. They are shameless. They will fart audibly and banish you from an entire side of the room because of the odor. Good strategy for keeping teacher off your back, I suppose. Props.
  6. Your feet and body will ache terribly after the first day. Take heart–you won’t even feel it in a few days. You become acclimated to the shoulder tension and sore calves. It’s the LEAST of your worries.
  7. Some students WILL seem to hate you for no apparent reason. It’s hard not to take it personally. Detach yourself, love them anyways, and don’t give up. Mostly just advice to myself…
  8. Calling a parent for the first time is intimidating and terrifying. You will feel like a tattling kid. Do it anyways. Everything is easier after you’ve done it once. Besides, when a grandmother gives you her personal cell number and tells you she will “Take care of it” and to call her if it continues, you feel empowered.
  9. With each day, you will feel your skin growing thicker and your heart getting bigger. I feel myself hardening and softening all at once. Feel the feelings and then MOVE ON.
  10. You will mostly just survive. If you can get through a moment, you can get through a minute, an hour, and eventually the day. Days add up to months and before you know it, you look back at where you started and the person you’ve become takes your breath away. I know this because it’s been true in other parts of my life. And it will be true in teaching. I can do hard things :)

 

CURRENT THANGZ: August

Okaaaay, so, it’s been a hot minute since I’ve been around these parts. Why? Because sometimes just sitting down to get down that first word is the entire battle. And here I am. It’s already so much easier! Mind. Blown.

It’s August 1st a.k.a. The Month That School Starts (teachers go back August 10th and students August 17th). Just typing that causes heart palpitations. I’m so, so nervous but also pumped out of my mind! I just kept focusing on the moment when I finally get to meet those crazy, terrible, beautiful middle-schoolers and start our year together. I know it’ll be a roller-coaster. I’ve been briefed on a million different horrific scenarios of things that can go wrong my first year (any year, for that matter) and, more than likely, many will come true. But I’m also pretty convinced it’ll be an incredible learning experience and year of growth, for both me and my students. I love them and am simultaneously annoyed with them already. <3

For any teachers out there, I want to share some resources that I adore:

Angela Watson’s The Cornerstone blog and Truth for Teachers podcast

Classroom Questions podcast

Love, Teach blog

Harry Wong’s The First Days of School

Google and Pinterest… When in doubt, get lost in the black hole that is the Internet.

Colleagues and friends who are also teachers. Don’t be afraid to reach out. Be kind and other teachers will have your back.

July in Review

July was filled with a lot of stress related to health issues. I won’t even get into it, but let’s just say I let my anxiety steal my joy more than once. I’m drawing the line and actively focusing on patience and trust and gratitude. Overall, I’d have to say the highlight of July was the week I spent at Montreat Youth Conference as a small group leader to 30 incredible high schoolers. The theme this year was This is Our Story. It was an emotional week, to be sure. Those 1,200 teenagers were filled with a lot of pain and a lot of beauty. I am so grateful to have shared that week with them. Maybe I’ll do a post with more on that, because I don’t even know where to begin. A week in the mountains talking about what really matters gave me the perspective I was desperately needing.

Montreat-gate

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photo cred montreat.org

Oh, and I turned 23 on July 29th. So that’s pretty fun, I guess. 23 definitely sounds more mature to me. Let’s go with that.

Current Things

Current music: Tame Impala, The Beach Boys, and random playlists on Spotify.

Current books: Ishmael by Daniel Quinn and Go Set a Watchmen by Harper Lee.

Current guilty pleasure: ABC Family’s Switched at Birth and various chart-topping pop tracks…

Current drink: Kombucha and Lemon La Croix.

Current food: Endless spoonfuls of sunflower seed butter, hummus, Nut-Thins, Rice Chex with cashew milk, Lindt 90% dark chocolate, and Lundberg brown rice cakes.

Current mood: Inspired and optimistic.

Current link: There Are No Hacks To A Meaningful Life by Alison Berman.

Have a BLESSED weekend, y’all :)

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A teacher meme that made me LOL.