I have to admit, this fall feels a little bit “off” for me. For the last five years, every end of August and early September has been dedicated to classroom preparation. From the exciting summer working with my mentor teacher before I began student-teaching, through the anxiety-ridden summer of job interviews, excitement over a job offer, and then the terrifying reality that *I* was going to be a teacher – the woman in charge – to the new challenges that each fall inevitably brought, I have always been working in a classroom.
This year is different. This is the first September that I don’t have a classroom to decorate, no Open Houses to attend, no student names to learn and memorize, no “What was your favorite thing about summer” ice breakers to play… No longer assigned to one classroom space and 180 new students to get to know, I am facing a new challenge this year. As the brand-new Technology Integration Specialist, I will be working with almost 100 different teachers, over 500 students, and a variety of abilities. Sounds a lot like teaching, eh?! My role is to work with the Magnet Schools program, all of whom have either a STEM, STEAM, or Global Studies focus. While I definitely have a lot of challenges ahead of me, I am incredibly excited to work with educators and students again.
So, while in some ways I am sad I don’t get to create a classroom theme, design a welcome packet with cute fonts and adorable cartoons, impress (or irritate) students with my love for U.S. Presidents, I am excited, too. Although, I do miss being able to justify purchasing an obscene amount of office supplies, I will get to interact with a variety of age groups, many of whom I have not worked with before. As a Secondary certified teacher, most of my experience has been with middle and high school students. I am anxious to work with younger kids and see their curiosity and open-mindedness at work.
There is nothing better than the energy and enthusiasm in a school. I love that every year, educators get to set new goals – personal, professional, academic. It is like a fresh start every few months. Opportunities seem almost limitless, the ability to engage with and influence another group of young people is an awesome gift, and I love that teachers embrace that. One of the best parts of my job is going to conferences and listening to all the great things others are doing. It is inspiring! I can’t wait to play a role in helping other teachers get inspired. More importantly, I can’t wait to be awed and impressed with all the great teaching and learning that is happening in this community.
Here’s to a great year, teachers! You are amazing. Thank you for all you do.
Teachers, what is your favorite part of fall?
If you’re not an educator, what do you do to stay energized and refreshed at your job?