The First Year

Today is the last day of school. Actually, the last day of school is over.

Before I really get into anything thoughtful let me just say one big:

HALLELUJAH, THANK YOU JESUS! 

OK, but really, this school year is over and I am so thankful for summertime. I am incredibly reflective right now and a little sappy. I have learned a lot this year and I have grown a lot this year. Here are a few things.

1) I love teaching.

If you had asked me in January/February I would have told you that I wasn’t sure about teaching. I was exhausted, beaten down, and unsure of everything. I made it through that low point, and now, with one year under my belt I am certain that I am supposed to be a teacher. I am also incredibly hopeful knowing that it can only go up from here. I am no longer completely inexperienced. I have some (a very small amount) idea of what I am doing. There is still a long way to go and a lot to learn, but I hope that I always have something to learn.

2) Co-workers really are worth being friends with.

Only teachers really understand what it is like to be a teacher. Only teachers at your school really understand what it is like to be a teacher at your school. I have been blessed this year to be around supportive people who let me cry, scream, whine, and laugh inappropriately without any judgement. It has been fun to learn from more experienced teachers and also just get to know them as people, not just as teachers.

3) It is OK not to know everything.

I feel like I have embarrassed myself at least once a day this year, and while it is slightly humiliating, I am learning that it is definitely normal. I am OK not knowing all of the answers, because that means I still have a lot to learn! I want my students to know that I am human, and that learning never ends. Yes, it would be nice to have all of the answers, but I don’t believe that is realistic.

4) Being co-workers with your husband really is fun.

Nat and I have a weird life. Our first year of marriage coincided with our first year of working, which got even more strange when we found out we were working at the same school. I think we were a little nervous about what the dynamic would be, but seriously, it has been the most fun year. I love working with my husband, especially at a school that is big enough where we don’t run into each other all the time. It is fun to know the same students and to be a part of the same community.

5) My apartment will never be clean.

I have learned this year that my apartment will never be as clean as I want it to be. The laundry will never be done. We won’t always have a home cooked meal. My hair won’t always be clean.

Having a full time teaching job is exhausting. It is wonderful, but it is exhausting. I have had to let go of the type A part of me that exists this year, and allow life to get a little messy. I’ve chosen sleep over having laundry, just to make it to the next day. I am learning that that is ok. Summer is the time that is meant for cleaning/cooking/working out 🙂

6) It gets better.

I could cry thinking about this year. The beginning was tough, and I wasn’t sure if I did anything right. On the last day of school, however, my students said precious things to me, and showed me that patience with people pays off. I can’t base the entire year off of the first few months.

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I have learned so much this year. There are not enough words in the English language to describe how I feel today. My emotions are all over the place, but the emotion that is dominate right now is JOY. I am looking forward to next year, but you better believe it, I am going to enjoy this summer.

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