This week was a long week. In some ways, it felt like the first “real” week of teaching. It was the first week I’ve had to teach difficult content for full class periods every day of the week; it held the first few uncomfortable conversations about students’ efforts and involvement in the class; it gave me the first real, difficult confrontation with a student. It also ended with a fantastic Friday, a day that involved my principal riding into my room on a tricycle, all classes enthusiastic about the book we started reading today, and generally just positive interactions throughout the day.
In other words, it was my first real week of teaching because it was my first normal week of teaching. I never forget how strange that would sound to someone outside of teaching. Wait, a kid did what in that class and it’s considered normal? Wait, your boss rode into your classroom with a tricycle?
It definitely had some bumps (mornings, evenings, in between class periods…) but it felt like a successful week by the end of today. That being said: bring on the three-day weekend.
I don’t know how you found my site or why you’re reading, but welcome! My name is Torey and I currently teach 7th grade English. About a month ago, I had a conversation with my brother about my first year of teaching. I’m about to enter into my second year, and he encouraged me to write a memoir about my first year of teaching. He felt confident that it would be a great idea for a memoir. I felt less confident. Although I had been writing about my year, I’d written for my own personal benefit, to reflect and process my experiences. I pushed back against the idea of a memoir because I didn’t see myself as someone worth reading; after all, I was just one of so many first-year teachers.
A few weeks later, I found myself in a conversation with my brother’s fiancee and my mom, who were encouraging me to begin a blog about teaching. The conversation with my brother lingered in my mind. I still didn’t feel particularly confident about the idea, seeing as there are hundreds of blogs on teaching and far more teachers generally who have experiences worth sharing, but I kept returning to one thing during that conversation: my frustration trying to describe to non-teachers what teaching is like. With everything that happened during my first year of teaching, it was almost more energy trying to convey the difficulty of teaching to people than teaching was itself (which is really saying something).
That is the goal with this blog. As I enter into my second year of teaching, I will be posting about my journey through the first year as a public school teacher, reflecting on my second year, and trying to show as best I can what it is like to teach in the U.S. today. Here we go!