The upcoming school year is going to be a big one for Leslie and me. First of all, Leslie is starting high school in the fall! She's very excited yet nervous. As for me, I'm going back to elementary school. As some of you may know (because I mentioned it here a few times before), I graduated in 2009 with a degree in elementary education. Last school year, I didn't get a teaching position because the schools that were hiring were all from Oahu and I'm back to living on Maui after graduation. Instead, I took an educational assistant position at a local high school. I wasn't sure I'd like it at first because I had no experience in a high school setting, but after some shuffling around I ended up in a special ed classroom and got to work with a group of great kids. I also gained experience in a low-function SPED setting, which I was sorely lacking.
But this summer, I started to get phone calls for teaching position interviews again and from local elementary schools this time. I completely bungled my first interview which was over the phone but I was better prepared on my next interview. This time it was face-to-face with the principal and two teachers and, man, did they grill me! I thought I messed that one up too but a few days later the principal called me for a second interview and the next day I got "the call." I got the job! I'm going to be teaching second grade this coming school year! My first thought after hanging up the phone was: "what have I gotten myself into."
Here's the deal about my whole teaching thing. On my final semester of college (which was the student teaching semester), I realized too late that while I like teaching I'm not passionate about it like my classmates in the college. I felt like I was going through the motions just to graduate. But I went through with my degree because I was so close--just one semester off from graduating and my parents were pressuring me to graduate as well. When it came time to find a job and I ended up as an educational assistant, I was actually relieved because I wasn't a teacher. It was like a reprieve--I was in a classroom setting so I was essentially using my degree but I wasn't a teacher. With this new job, I am. This coming school year will be THE year I really experience having my own 20-plus students and classroom. I'll really see if I'm cut out to be a teacher and can do it for so many more years. If not, then it's time to stop living in limbo and I have to figure out what I really want to do with my life--whether I want to go back to school and pursue something else... like publishing.
Ever since I started blogging books and being expose to the world of publishing, I realize this is something I'm quite passionate about. It's almost a year since I began and I'm still learning and still enjoying it. I see myself keeping up the blog for years to come, which is weird because I'm one of those people who never stick to a hobby for more than a month. It's been in the back of my mind to maybe go back to school and pursue a degree in publishing and marketing and make it a career instead of a hobby. Unfortunately, I'm a bit broke and with having to pay back student loans, I may have to wait another year or two.
Anyway, I am going to be a second grade teacher and despite my conflicting thoughts about it, but I'm actually pretty psyched. Yes, I'm nervous and scared I'll mess up but excited nonetheless. I know I'm going to have an interesting and challenging year ahead of me because it's my first year teaching (and I've heard stories about this "magical" year). We'll see how it goes...
Yikes, I'll shut up now. I wanted to share my news and my whole teaching conflict with you all but this post became very long-winded. Sorry! If you're still reading, thank you!
Umm... any advice for a first year teacher? Any advice will be much appreciated (as well as ideas for first day of school activities)! :)
**The pictures are from last summer, taken when my friend and I were touring an Amish village in Pennsylvania. We found the school house and I played teacher.**