Day 1 is in the books. I did it. I survived… no, LOVED every minute of my first day back in the classroom after 10 years of working in educational technology. I am exhausted. My day was 12 hours of preparing, sharing, smiling, learning, teaching, and building relationships. Wow. What a day!
Like most teachers and students, the night before school starts is not very restful. I woke up an hour before my alarm clock thinking about this and that. Do I have enough planned? What will the students really be like? Will they like me AND respect me? Will I be the teacher I know I can be? Since I was up I decided to go in to work that much earlier. The normal things that could happen did happen. I realized I forgot to copy a sheet for the students. Running to the copier before anyone got there… it didn’t matter it was down. I just shrugged my shoulders and said, “eh, we will figure it out.” The students started arriving to my room at 8:00am even though they didn’t need to be there until 8:40am. I have freshman and they were nervous so I talked to each of them as they came in to the room. The day started and it felt as if I never left the classroom, I was calm. I smiled. We learned about one another. I know I am not “supposed to smile until December” but I’ve never been able to follow that rule. The day flew by. I made a couple mistakes throughout the day but I will correct them tomorrow. After school, I managed to prep just about everything for the next two days. I arrived at 7am and left at 6:15pm. I am exhausted but invigorated in the same respect.
As I reflected on my day, I thought about when I entered in to my last semester at USC-Aiken to do my internship. I wondered if I still had my portfolio from the semester. I did. I found my final assignment a letter to the next interns. The letter was long and the last two paragraphs summed up that experience and what I believe this new experience will be.
I have made the connection, metacognition. Not only have the students learned to apply their knowledge, I have learned how to give the students the tools to find and use the knowledge. During this semester, I have found that my true calling is to be a teacher. Leaving this internship will fill me with a vast range of emotions. I will be happy because I will finally be graduating. Sad because I have learned to love the kids and won’t be seeing their faces everyday. Excitement and anticipation because next year I will hopefully have my own classroom, and finally, respect for everyone and anyone who truly knows s/he is born to be a teacher.
If you asked me what I have learned this semester? My answer would be… I can’t breathe without these kids. I wish you the best to succeed this semester and no matter how bad it sounds now you will make it through and hopefully find your niche.” (1998)
Here is too a great year. If the feeling I had today is any indication of what is yet to come, I can’t wait.