Becoming a Real Teacher

September 26, 2007 at 9:50 am Leave a comment

We’re through five weeks, two days, and two class periods of school.  Things are starting to settle into a routine, and I like that.

The last two years I’ve taught World and U.S. History.  This year, I have Government, World Geography, and AP Government.  It’s been really tough to wrap my head around three completely different classes, and the mental shift from 1st period Geography (with freshmen) to 2nd period AP Government (very high-level seniors) has been hard.  I’m proud of myself for making it all the way to Wednesday of last week before having a major (tear-inducing) meltdown.  I feel like a real teacher now.

It also helps that my tardiness has miraculously disappeared.  The last two years I’ve really struggled with getting to school on time.  (Don’t worry – I get definitely got here before my students came to class…most days, anyway.)  But this year, I haven’t had a problem.  When I started teaching, everyone said it isn’t until your third year that you really start to feel like you know what you’re doing.  That’s definitely turned out to be true for me; I feel like a responsible adult for the first time in my 27 years.

Anyway, yesterday I had a chance to do some reflecting on where I am in life.  I went with a couple of other teachers and their classes to the UT Dallas School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences.  My degree is in Psychology, so I was thrilled to be along for the fun.

We had a pretty full day; we started with a lecture, moved on to exploring career options with a Psychology degree, and then finally visited the laboratories and saw the kinds of work different research areas are doing in their respective fields.  As I took notes in the lecture, I couldn’t shake the foggy feeling in my brain.  It was like I’d been asleep for a very long time and parts of my brain I haven’t used in years were trying to wake up – and after yesterday’s talk, I know that’s probably exactly what was happening!  I just felt a little rusty, like I’d forgotten how to learn.

I’ve always thought that maybe someday I’d like to teach at the college/university level.  It would be nice to not have the state telling me what to do in my classroom.  Beyond that, in my current position, I often feel like I’m having to “dumb down” concepts for my students.  I don’t know if that’s because I just don’t understand the average high schooler’s mind or perhaps because I’m genuinely making things dumber.  In either case, I sometimes feel like my brain is starting to calcify.

Anyway, it was really nice to clear out some cobwebs in my brain and be a student again for a day.  I think I’m just about ready to go back to school and get that Master’s Degree. 🙂

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Entry filed under: Education, Life in General.

Six Years Later My First Day of AP Training

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