I am a lucky teacher. There is such a gi-normous difference between my teaching experience last year at my old school and my time this year at my current school. Sure I had a rough 1st semester getting on board with all the new ways of doing things and all the higher expectations and all the students sort of eying you to see what type of person/teacher you are before they decide to like you and play along with learning. Sure I've had many times this year (in the last couple of weeks especially) when I'm asking myself, they want me to do WHAT now in addition to the other 5 bazillion things I'm doing??? Sure I've been tossed into the pool and told to swim and figure things out and then jump back out, dry off, and assess how things went and make notes for the next time we do something new we haven't done before.
I'm loving it. Maybe it's analogous to life experiences in that you ultimately are more satisfied with something you've had to work hard for. Maybe you're more proud of yourself when you've agreed to try new things and not come out any worse for wear. Maybe I just work with phenomenal people that push me every day to be a better teacher/person/employee. In any case. Gush. Gush. Gush. Okay, hope you're through being queasy.
And 3 more off-this-topic observations I've been mulling around in my head.
1. A while ago I blogged about a student cheater. I don't know if I mentioned it, but this student was caught cheating on another test. This was last semester. I never mentioned anything to her, and things settled down, and I'm in general very present during tests and walk around and check up on students. Anyway. Can I just tell you I'm glad I didn't severely damage my relations with this kid by saying something that would stick in both of our minds. She has turned out to be a joy and is one of my favorites now. She makes me laugh constantly, and I'm always happy to see her. Another instance where things are not black and white, and are ever-shifting.
2. A shorter while ago I blogged about a student who had attendance issues and was frustrating me with her lack of math progress. Well, this is a poised kid who excels at other things, and I've had opportunities to see her in action and was impressed and told her so. So I guess this is an instance to remind me that I'm not just teaching math robots who only exist to come to my class and churn out math; they are well-rounded and just like the rest of us are trying to juggle many things and growing up (keep reminding myself that they're only 14-15 years old) and learning how to do things and do them successfully.
3. There are the types of people who feel they have to ask permission for everything (not talking etiquette here), and there are the types of people who just push on ahead and do things with the mindset that no one's the boss of them. Example, some of our teachers went to a meeting the other week where there were people from various schools. This one teacher was asking for help and suggestions on how to set up field trips and transportation and logistics of visiting various colleges. She seemed to be flustered by the whole idea. Our teachers just looked at each other because we had just done that with a set of our kids. Hey! we just contacted people and transportation and figured out the logistics on our own. Just get it done. Most likely your common sense or perseverance will allow you to figure things out. And if not, you'll learn from it and do better next time.