After five years of researching, reflecting, observing, practicing, reflecting again, and so forth in the course of earning two degrees… it’s a little daunting to start with a blank slate. As a first-year teacher it seems the “to-do” list is a mile-long and kind of functions as laundry does: the longer you stare at it, the more it multiplies.
Teaching has always been in the cards for me, thought I didn’t recognize it until after I started college and began to figure out what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. It shouldn’t have taken me that long because from an early age I was obsessed with two things: learning and office supplies. (Seriously, I spent my birthday money, allowance money, tooth fairy money, and lemonade stand money on office supplies.)
I was that kid that — with near-perfect handwriting and a box of organized-by-color crayons — was waving their hand in the air, desperate to contribute to class discussions. I simply couldn’t get enough knowledge stuffed into my rather large noggin’. The subject matter didn’t much matter (though I am a bit of a bookworm and science nerd) so long as I was learning about something.
I wasn’t born this way. (Insert Lady Gaga anthem here.) I didn’t come pre-wired with the incredible thirst for experiencing the world and constructing knowledge. I didn’t even come pre-wired with the organizational skills of Martha Stewart (contrary to what my friends and family might secretly profess).
I was molded. Molded by teachers; in-school, and in the home. I was encouraged to question everything around me, and I was indulged when the questions kept flowing from my very curious brain. I had teachers in early elementary that absolutely made a mark upon the core of who I am, so much so that in my late 20’s I have very vivid memories of what it meant to be a learner in their classroom.
And so when I finally realized that I wouldn’t be happy in any career that lacked a constant growth in knowledge and understanding… well, I realized that I had to be a teacher. I had to be a teacher because I couldn’t nurture my curiosity as a life-long learner any other way. But most importantly, I had to be a teacher because I wouldn’t be able to make sure there are other children-turned-teenagers-turned-adults like me — that love to learn for the sake of learning — if I didn’t do the teaching myself.
Here I am, a recent graduate with a Masters in Elementary Education about to embark on my first full-time teaching position in second grade come September. I’m overwhelmed in the best possible way by what lies ahead, and couldn’t be more thankful that I woke up and smelled the fresh box of crayons and followed my passion a few years ago.
I decided to document this journey and be a participant in this teaching blog community for many reasons, the greatest of which is it’s the single best professional development tool I’ve taken part in. On any given day I read hundreds of posts from men and women that have become mentor teachers to me — though we may not have directly communicated — and it’s made me a much better educator.
While I’m the new kid on the block, I hope to bring something to the table and contribute to this incredible community of dedicated teachers. There’s honestly nowhere I’d rather be (okay, okay, if Hogwarts was real I’d rather be there… but you would rather be there too, and you know it!).