Things I learned on my first day in the school:
-How to work the copier... I love making copies. I was the kid who always did it for all my teachers in high school, so it feels right, lol. I don't know why this is a big deal for me, but I love knowing how to run the copy machine! :)
-Teachers don't really wear heels. At least not at this school. I mean, I always try and wear kitten heels, or pairs I've worn to proms, weddings, funerals, and formals- you know, well broken in & comfy? But here, these teachers wear flat sandals, or even nicer flip flops. No one has on a pants suit and heels here... it's khakis, a simple soild color cotton top, and leather flops or sandals that say "aero" or "air" or "soft" or "comfort" on the sole. I always pay attention to the shoes teachers wear. It says a lot about their jobs day to day, how they teach, what the school community is like, and the teacher's personality. I wore lower black heels, but since the floor has several "ramp" like hallways, it's gonna be the last time. I went to Shoe Carnival last night & got some leather Villager sandals, and cute buckle ballet flats. For super cheap, too. Cost effective teacher shoes, the realllll ones, make me happy.
- I wanna get better at technology. I have a Promethean AND an Elmo and I plan on using them until I become an EXPERT at them. I'm a technology nerd deep down, I think... I'm the type that is naturally clueless about this kind of stuff, and I've never been tech-savvy a day in my life! But I'mma change this during this experience!!!!
- It's all coming together... all this stuff in my head. Content Literacy, differentiation, contextual factors, interdisciplinary units, scaffolding and ZPDs, metacognition, FERPA, and all those other abbreviations I'm still memorizing... 504s, IEPs, EOCS, PASS, IWS... they are all coming together! Teaching isn't just a career, I'm not just learning stuff to make me a better teacher, but I'm becoming an EXPERT in my chosen field! Ack.
- I almost lost it and came completely undone. Guidance counselor tells me a student of mine lost an immediate family member that morning, like right before school. Student came to school anyways. I see the child come in, looking tattered and exhausted. But this student came to school because school is normal, and school is safe, and school is comforting. My MT hugs the child before class starts, says nothing like "are you okay?" or anything, just sighs, shakes her head, and pulls the child into her arms. I see the kid melt in the teacher's arms, just completely melt. I realize school has only been in for a couple of weeks, and surely they aren't that close yet. I realized it wasn't about the relationship with the student, it was about the role of the teacher. This child, in a mere 2 weeks, has looked at my MT as a safe, dependable person who cares about her students' lives. Teachers have that power. From the moment we step in front of a class, we are their safe place, their protectors, their leaders, their routine, their comfort in life's storms. We are so much more than educators. We have one of the most important jobs in the world, and it's an honor to have such a burden. I choked on a lump in the back of my throat, wiped a runaway tear, and fought back the urge to break.
- I'm going to succeed. Call this motivation, a prediction, call it a self-fulfilling prophecy, call it whatever you want, as long as you know that I believe it with all my heart. I am going to do well this school year and graduate with the skills, knowledge, and spirit being a great teacher requires. I'm just telling myself this, I'm believing it because I know this is where God has led me, and I know that He did not make me to be mediocre. He made me to be phenomenal. And He will give me the strength and courage to be just that.
Man. If I learned this much from Day 1, can you imagine who I will be by the time Christmas gets here?