Hello everyone! So I know it has been a little while since I have written and I’m so excited to be able to update you on how everything is going at my new job. So today is Saturday and I have officially been teaching for thirteen days. I officially began work on August 1st, having to go into the school and participate in professional development and school/district meetings. Now luckily, I was able to finish my room, meaning decorating and organizing it all, before I had to begin work. During development, I was able to meet my colleagues and teachers that I would be working with closely for the rest of the year. I had the chance to learn the inns and outs of the school and was able to get acclimated to the environment as well. At first, it seemed like a whirlwind. I felt like I was drowning in paperwork and information, but after about two days I saw the light and felt like it was all going to be okay. I was able to get everything settled and plan for the first two weeks of school and begin the third week before our open house.
My Open House experience went fairly well. I’ve never really been to an open house nor have I ever been on the other side (teacher’s point of view), so this was definitely a first experience for me. Once Open House was over, I felt mostly prepared but also learned a couple of things. I feel prepared with having information set up about my class and having a sign-up sheet for those who stopped by, as well as the classroom material list for my students. But I also felt like I had not been fully prepared because I did not have a handout to give to the parents about the class and the remind app information with it. Other than that, I thought the open house went really well. I enjoyed getting to meet my students and their parents and making connections here and there with them.
Then came the first day of school. I was very nervous but very excited and so I wasn’t freaking out yet. When my first-period students came in, it was like everything exploded. I realized that I wasn’t prepared for the yearbook portion of the morning, having to explain the rules and go over the yearbook with them. I also felt like I wasn’t prepared to explain all the paperwork with them and I wish that I had spent more time preparing for those housekeeping items. After that, however, I felt like I knew what I was doing because I had a plan and my plan worked out fairly well. The rest the day went very smoothly and I really enjoyed my students. By the second day I felt very encouraged, making me feel like this was what I was supposed to do. Friday also went very well. My students had their first quiz and seemed to do very well on it. Now Friday was also the first day where things didn’t go as planned. My students ended up having a lot of free time at the end of class that I didn’t want to have. Luckily, my students were pretty wonderful that day and did not cause any problems. Overall, I wished that I would’ve had more work for them to do that day than I prepared for them.
After week one I felt as though I was getting the hang of things. I was able to determine that I still had improvements to make, but I was well on my way to gaining a better understanding of what I needed to do and how I needed to function.
Week two went fairly well. Right from the beginning, I had the students diving into the curriculum and having them participate in class activities and individual activities that had them reading, writing and speaking in Spanish. The students were beginning to pick up some vital phrases and vocabulary throughout the week. On Friday, I gave them a quiz and almost all of my students did very well on it. I was beginning to see the students that needed to be challenged as well as the students who needed some extra help.
During this past week, the third week, I felt more relaxed, having created a routine and learning each day how to be a better teacher. I have seen that on the good days and bad days, I still learn something new. Sometimes I learn small things, such as having an extra activity to keep the students working is not a bad idea. I also learn big things, such as taking a student outside to discuss their behavior can be very efficient and keep them from getting into further trouble in class.
Yesterday, my students took their first test. I was pretty confident in the fact that if they had studied they would do well. That was the case for most students. Now this test was not an easy one if they had not studied or paid attention in class. There was some multiple choice, true or false, and matching questions, but I also included a short answer portion and an essay portion, having the students create a dialog like the many that they have seen, read, and created in the past three weeks. After grading all of the tests, most of my students were in the average range that I wanted them to be in (75% and above). I did have some who fell below that or did not pass at all, but there were very few. After seeing their results, I felt that I had taught most things well, but would like to go over some specific things, such as writing a dialog and specific basic questions and responses, because I don’t believe that my students are picking up on them as easily.
Overall, I am really enjoying my job. It is challenging and it is something that I can see myself doing for a very long time. I can’t wait to see what this year has in store and am excited to see what I am going to learn, even in the next few weeks.