Last week, I finished my first year of teaching. When I say first year of teaching, I mean 8 months of teaching full time with half my curriculum already designed for me.
I was lucky to begin my teaching in my student teaching classroom. My master teacher took maternity leave in October, and I got to take all her classes AND get paid. Sweet. She had curriculum already for her physiology classes, so I was responsible for creating original material for only biology. That definitely lifted a weight off my shoulders. After watching my dad go through his first year of teaching only a few years ago, I feel very lucky to have found the position I did. And next year, I will have a head start with a bio and physio curriculum already in my possession.
The school year ended early for me since my master teacher had to return to work for the last two weeks of school which meant that I would leave, she would return, and our students would have to transition to a new teacher. I think the fact that I was leaving so unexpectedly made a bigger impact than if I had stayed the entire year. The students were nervous but extremely sweet even with one student trying to figure out if most of my 150 students rallied and contributed $10, maybe they could pay me to continue teaching for two weeks.
On my last day, during second period biology, we had finished early having just completed a test (yes, I give tests on my last day), a couple students asked me to the back of the room to answer some questions about next year; requirements for chemistry, expectations for physiology, etc... Then I heard a rustling sound behind me and quickly turned around (they say in school, never turn your back to our students. oops) and found other students hanging up a huge banner on my white board.
Here are a few favorite parts.
After second period, my other classes saw the poster and added their names and short messages. It turned out to be my version of a year book. On top of that, fourth period planned a party in my honor and got me cake and a card. It was a great day!
I miss my kids but I'm excited to have received my credential this year and have a year of teaching under my belt. Now I just have to find a job for next year!