15 June 2007

Small Joys (last day of school) Friday

Today is the official last day of my first year of teaching. In celebration I thought I'd do a quick list to let you know what I've enjoyed this year.
  1. Becoming part of a professional community, I know it sounds sort of cheezy but in the other jobs I've had in the past no one is really fully dedicated. They are always looking for other jobs or considering other options.
  2. Mentorship-Thank goodness for our instructional coach on staff. She helped me out of so many frustrating situations throughout the year and really helped me to be, what I think, is a better teacher.
  3. God-I know that without his grace and provision, I couldn't have made it. There were so many moments of doubting myself that if I'd listened to my "inner voice" than I just would have felt like I had to give up.
  4. Friends/Venting-I have met so many wonderful people this year. The 2 people that I carpooled with consistently have been such wonderful ears to vent my frustrations at the end of the day and run ideas and thoughts by. I think that they probably helped me too in that I didn't have to vent all of this stuff to my husband!
  5. Books-I always love school because it reinvigorates my love of books and reading. I feel like I did when I was in elementary school: "I cannot wait for summer because I cannot wait to read!"
  6. Care-I feel so entrenched into my position. To some this may sound bad or not positive but for me it signifies a level of interest and care about what I do and who I work with. I cannot tell you how many times I laid in bed thinking about a certain student, situation or lesson plan. Teaching is not just a "job" but a true "profession" and one, in my opinion, consumes your thoughts. Every time you go to a bookstore you are sort of always looking for ideas. Anytime you go to Goodwill you are thinking of how you could incorporate ideas into your class.
  7. Office Supplies-Need I say more? I suppose.....I just love paper clips and pens and all sorts of fun things like that organized in my desk (at school, not at home-ask my husband.)
  8. Writing-This year has also reinvigorated my interest in writing. I've read so many beautiful books, poems and even blog posts. All of the people that I read inspire me to be a better example to my students and to write, write, write. It sounds so scary but the more you do it the easier it becomes.
  9. Release-this was the first year I took a LONG Christmas break and an actual Spring Break. I never got to have that stereotypical "spring break" experience in college and this year I left all my homework and grading at home and went camping for a week (it was beautiful too). Looking and longing for summer has kept me focused these last few weeks when I've had to work extra hard to keep the little ones focused at their desks.
  10. Self-I don't know what to call this category except that I've learned a lot about myself. I've learned who I am more than I knew before but I've also learned who I am not! Understanding oneself can be one of the most freeing things in the world. I am by no means at any concrete conclusions but I understand why I think and feel certain ways more than I did before.

This year in teaching has had so many ups and downs. Without my famly and friends I couldn't have done it because I have needed and appreciated all the emotional support. I look forward to my next years of teaching with a new passion for writing and reading.

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