This is my fourth year of teaching; the thing I feel most is relief and steadiness because I have my sea legs. Now I am looking around, figuring out where the ship is going. It took a lot of work and stumbling around for the first few years!
Do problems come up? Only every day. But I am becoming more comfortable with the structure and the pacing and the flow of it all. I still work hard to find my balance—and maintain my balance.
Looking back, I am astounded at the opportunities to grow that have heaped themselves at my feet. In a school setting, we are thrown into close quarters with a specific group of people. Some bring out the best in us, and some bring out the dragons. Kids, parents, coworkers—they all take their piece of you or build a place with you. As hard as that process is, I wouldn’t trade it for anything less demanding.
Looking ahead, there is still so much to learn—I went to a class hosted by a local university about integrating agriculture into science lessons (growing pumpkins and such) and I sat down next to MY 3rd grade teacher. To her credit she hasn’t aged a day (teaching must be good for the skin . . . ). There she was after 20 years, the teacher that heavily influenced me to become what I am now. If anyone could sit back and feel confident that they have this teaching thing down, go home, and watch old episodes of Downton, it would be her. But no, her first thought was to take another class. Learn something new. Shake things up and re-write her plans to include terrariums and seed packets. She is still inspiring me.