Everyone tells you the second year is easier. What they don’t tell you is that it’s the ignorance of year one that’s bliss!
This year has been hard. Really hard. Forget busyness – I can learn to skip sleep and function on the miracles of caffeine and Jesus. Not a problem. What I’m trying to say is that this job is consuming. Mentally and physically. Don’t get me wrong! I love my job! I’m so grateful to have been given this job and for the assurance I have that this is where God wants me to be. (Even typing that made me cringe at how I’ve neglected to recognize this as my calling, ouch!) Learning of the atrocities my students combat intellectually, at home – if they have one, and with parents – if they have them, is the major killer. Such is the case with all my classes this year.
There have been good days – when students have their Aha! moments, administrators notice the positives, students are on their best behavior and take ownership of their learning! Take today and yesterday, for example. Just like me to be down to the wire on Wednesday afternoon, I was planning SO far in advance! NOT! I was creating a 5E (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate) lesson for genetics the next morning. Just a few days after hearing that my formal observation was to be Thursday morning, THAT Thursday morning. Anyway, I labored over my keyboard until finally, I felt confident enough in what I’d prepared.
God has funny ways of working things out. I’m 10 minutes into my first period class when, the laptop with the entire lesson all but crashed at the most crucial part (aka the beginning) of the lesson. Doh!
I could feel my body temperature rising and all of that oxygen rich, hemoglobin-bearing blood rushing to cover every inch of this fair-skinned, freckle-faced teacher. Aware of all eyes on me and by some Divine intervention, I picked right up with what I needed to do to get us all back on track and cause the transitions to be as seamless as possible. A huge thanks to my first period class for being awesome during that, too! I’ve never seen so many students focused and hanging on every word as I taught and we learned. Their questions and ownership of learning was enough to make me stop and think, this is why I’m here. Needless to say, those kids will ace any genetics problem in their paths from now on!
I was proud. Not of myself, but those students. You see, it wasn’t that I’d made genetics so awesome or had begun this über-engaging lesson, those kids taught me something yesterday that stuck with me in today’s classes. They were learning and expressing character. Unaware that the admin was there for me, not them, those students did their best to keep me from totally losing it when that laptop quit. Maybe it was my red face and neck or the slight shift in my tone or even the bulging eyeballs at the sight of a frozen, snowy screen, but they helped me work through it. As a result, they learned genetics and I learned about them.
Enough sap, I’ll leave you with a quote I found (stole) from A Teachable Teacher.