Tuesday, June 25, 2013

One year down...so many more to come!

After going back to school yesterday for a Superintendent's conference day and being dismissed early, I can officially say SCHOOL'S OUT FOR SUMMER!!! It was not cool that we had to go back yesterday in order to make up the number of days in attendance according to NYS rules for schools but at least we were let out early!

That being said, it's one year down and so many more to come working in a school! I was originally hired as a permanent substitute for Spanish but when one of the teaching assistants left, the chairperson switched me over. I worked in 6 classes of 7th & 8th grade students (three of each grade level) and co-taught with the teachers. It was definitely an experience in itself because I got to see a variety of teaching styles. When it came to testing (each quarterly exam, etc) I gave the Special Education students in the classes their testing mods. 

But this year has definitely taught me a lot. As a teacher and about myself. As a teacher, you ARE going to have days when you just want to RIP your hair out of your head. You're going to have days when you can't do anything but just laugh at how ridiculous the day is or your students are acting. You will have the days when you definitely lose your cool (I have seen that on many of occassions). 

But then there are the days that make you realize how completely rewarding this profession is. People deem teachers to be glorified babysitters. To anyone that says that, I would love to leave you in a room for 40 minutes with 25-30 hormone-enraged teenagers or 25-30 little kids and see how you can get content in a subject across. It definitely is not easy and it takes someone who cares a lot about kids to be able to be a teacher. At the end of the year, three of my students in my 9th period class gave me letters of appreciation. Reading them just made me smile. (The spelling/grammar can improve but it's the thought that counts!)

I learned how some kids get a concept so easily while others, no matter how many times you teach it, can't get it until it is broken down into very simple steps. I learned that kids look at you like their personal Staples store and are always asking for pens & paper! As a teacher, you take collateral in order to make sure you get your pens & pencils back. The faculty room can be viewed as a form of cheap therapy where you vent all your frustrations on your off period(s). As a teacher, you learn how one lesson can COMPLETELY flop and others go so well. It's all about trial & error. You learn you can't please every kid and there'll be kids that don't care...those are the ones that make you work harder.

Some people go into the field of education thinking it's a piece of cake. They student teach and either are happy in the end or want to give up. Teaching isn't for everyone, just like every other job isn't for everyone. This year, working as a teaching assistant, taught me a lot of things. I wouldn't change my profession for anything. No one may have hired me yet to have my own classroom but this district took a chance on me and I am grateful. I was able to make connects to students and enjoyed my classes. I was sad at the end of the year. 

I am in the field of education because of my middle school Spanish teacher. She had such a love for teaching and she was my inspiration to study two languages in high school. My high school language teachers furthered my love of this subject and I knew in 10th grade I had to major in languages and education in college. I have had so many obstacles thrown in my way to get to where I am today but I am forever changed because of it. If I can make the impact on one student the way my teachers had on me, it will be worth every frustrating moment, long nights of grading, etc. 


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