Sunday, September 6, 2009

New School Growing Pains

Have you ever been the "new kid in school"? I have many times in my life. From kindergarten to 12th grade I went to thirteen different being the new kid is something I learned how to do a long time ago...or so I thought. This week I was the "new" teacher at school. While a learning experience in an abundance of ways, being a "new" teacher in a school is a lot like having a scarlet "TN tatooed onto ones forehead.

Right off, let me just say that there are many people who have been very nice, helpful, and have made me feel right at home. However, the learning curve one goes through when starting at a new school is like walking into an alien spaceship or a foreigh country. All of a sudden everything I have known about being a teacher is not understood by those around me. I is like I am speaking another language and have no dictionary to refer to.

Everything I mentioned about doing in my classroom was answered with a, "we don't do that here." or "I'm sorry, I don't know you as a teacher so I am not sure you can teach these students." Talk about getting slapped into insecurity zone from the get go.

Of course being me, I took everything VERY personal and cried most of the week. I HATED where I was at for the last 3 years, but in those moments I so wanted to be back least they knew I do good things with my students...

Again, being me, with the emotion that was seeping out of my skin like sweat off of a fat guy, I shut down completely. This was exactly what I DIDN'T want to do...but there it with a HUGE wall around me that the largest sledgehammer couldn't break through. I came off exactly as I was...unapproachable, emotional, and really unhappy about deciding to teach at this school.

I did rally back Thursday night and went in Friday with a happy face agreeing with whatever they said...outwardly agreeing anyway. I am hoping this attitude will last. I know frustration will rear its ugly head...then what?

Frustrated...that is the key word here. One example is that I am working with a BRAND NEW special ed teacher for math - in a co-teaching situation, which is great....I love co-teaching. So today this woman tells me she has doubts that this will work...that special educations students will not learn with general education students. She hasn't even met the students! How does she know what they can or cannot do? I smiled and said that I am going in with the attitude that we will be a successful team and produce successful students and am hopeing she can see things the same way...she said she would try...WHAT THE FUCK DOES THAT MEAN? How can a person walk into a school with the attitude that students are not going to succeed?

You know, all I really want to do is teach and make students successful. I want to be shown a little respect and treated like I am a credible teacher. I want my own place to buy and to move. Iwant to make enough money so I can travel next summer for the entire 2 months. It is not a lot to ask. I am not even asking for some guy to be my boyfriend, or for HIM to like me again, or for people to hang out why does it feel like I am constantly swimming upstream to fight a battle that I am not sure I am even going to win? These ARE attainable goals...aren't they?

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