Meet Me

Hi all! I'm a self-contained special education teacher from sunny Arizona! I teach k-3rd grade students with Down Syndrome, Developmental Delays, Cerebral Palsy and everything in between. I have a passion for organization, lists, and creating hands on activities for my learners!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Phases of Your First Year

I don't think that any amount of training can really prepare you for your first year of teaching. All of the behind the scenes, the paperwork, parents, THAT kid. I'm a preparer. I like to research every detail before I begin something. Teaching was no different for me. I scoured Pinterest for classroom ideas, spent more than I would like to admit on Teachers Pay Teachers, and read countless articles on how to survive your first year teaching. I felt prepared. I left confident.
I wasn't.
After the first week of school, I started questioning if I could handle this. So, consistent with my routine, I did more research. I found a few articles on the emotional phases that a first year teacher goes through throughout the year. They were all pretty consistent. 

1. Anticipation = Sleepless nights pinning all of the adorable activities you MUST do in your future classroom.  Imagining the enormous, life-changing, Stand and Deliver-esque impact you are going to have on every student's' life. 
2. Survival = Working 12 hours days and still prepping through lunch break. Repeating "it has to get better, right?" and "how do the other teachers make it look so easy?"
3. Disillusionment = Open House, evaluations, and the realisation that things are not going as smoothly as I imagined. Your family, friends and significant other are starting to wonder if you'll ever have time for them again. Pressure. 
4. Rejuvenation = Maybe you had a breakthrough with that stubborn kiddo who is on your mind 24/7 or maybe you just really needed that Winter Break, but it's January and YOU CAN DO THIS.  If you're smart, you spent your break getting way ahead on lesson planning. If you're smarter, you relaxed, slept and planned for the first two weeks. 
5. Reflection = The end of the year is in sight. Most of the bad memories are fading and those special, warm & fuzzy teacher moment memories are floating through your head. You're thinking back on the victories and the major flops, what you'll differently next year (oh yeah, you're coming back for more), and those precious kiddos that stuck with you all year long. 

The first year of teaching- there is nothing quite like it and you can't really explain it until you're on the other side of it. But if you care enough to read this, if you care enough to try everything you can to make your class better, you can do this. You will make it. 

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