So I was thinking that this is my 9th year of teaching. And usually, to prepare for their tenth year of being a musical artist, musicians put out a greatest hits album. I think that, for a bunch of my posts, I’m going to mention either particular students, or memorable moments (good, bad, and neutral). I think it may help me to have a series that I can bank on for inspiration. These are in no particular order (I want to make sure this is written out so that if certain past students see it first, that they know that there isn’t a hierarchy here! I love you all equally!…but obviously some of you are on here… so.. there’s that.) and I do plan on changing some names as not all of these are great moments, but moments I learned from.
First, I’m going to remember my first day at my current teaching job. It was my second year teaching, but my first year at this school (#hiringfreeze, #lasthiredfirstfired, #besttestscorestho). The teacher who had my classroom before me looked like a skinnier (okay.. much skinnier) version of me and (as she was leaving the profession for medical reasons) left me all her classroom library books! – easy for the kids who had her the year before to transition right?
“Why don’t you let us call you by your first name?” (Excuse me?)
“Miss, you are so not chill.” (Rookies.)
But really, the line I’ll remember most: A particular class on the first day wasn’t listening to me and talking over me the whole time. When I laughed and said out loud, “Ya’ll are supposed to be good on the first day, don’t you know?”
The response I received was: “Why lie to you now, Miss?”
I wasn’t prepared for that day. The thing where they say that the first year of teaching is hard? Lies. CAKE. The first year is CAKE. It’s the SECOND YEAR. The second year that separates men from boys, cupcakes from muffins, McFlurries from milkshakes. I had to roll up my sleeves and get to work.
But that class taught me so much. By the time they graduated, I was their senior sponsor and was able to express to them how much I’d seen them grow over the three years I’d known them. My sleeves have been rolled up ever since.