When I was in high school, I remember asking my English teacher.....
"Wait so...you went through 12 years of school, then college, then graduate school, just so you could work in a school for the rest of your life??"
The idea was so foreign to me. Who in their right mind would suffer through high school....just to circle back and teach at a high school. Turns out, that's exactly what I did. And it's the hardest thing I've ever had to do.
I mean...after high school I got my B.S. in Chemistry from Haverford College (yes, I took Quantum Chemistry literally just for fun, didn't even end up needing that). I thought I wanted to go to medical school until I realized I was terrified of blood. Then I realized teaching was way more challenging and creative than taking the MCAT.
I found teaching in my first year of undergrad when I volunteered as an after school tutor at a Philadelphia elementary school. Convince twelve second graders to do their homework quickly, efficiently, and all at the same time--- easier said than done, right? Though I loved my second graders to death, I needed to do more than just be their friend. I needed to be both good cop and bad cop. I needed to be an authority figure, a care giver, an academic mentor, and somebody to depend on. Nothing in the world, that I know of so far, is as challenging and rewarding as that.
Fast forward to graduate school at UPenn's Graduate School of Education. I got to be a woke and ambitious intellectual for a few months while I studied within the insulated classroom walls of the Ivy League. I felt so amazingly prepared for what would come next... a high school classroom of my own.
Little did I know, my first year of teaching high school felt like the longest marathon I've ever run in my life. Markers flying, students cutting class, excuses, disappointment, the pressure to be perfect, and that terrifying feeling of flying the plane as it is being built....that first year of teaching was worse than taking Quantum Chemistry (and that was pretty bad in itself...)
Survival is one word to describe what it feels like to be a beginning teacher. Reflection is what got me through it all. I hope to hash out the feelings, reflections, excitements, challenges, and funny happenings of being a teacher on this blog. It really is the best and hardest job I could have asked for.