Monday, July 17, 2017

please take your seats and call me mrs. aughtmon

It is less than four weeks until I am officially a middle school teacher.
I am laughing out loud as I type this.
Not because it's funny.
It's more like that high hysterical hyena laughter of nervousness.

I haven't faced a life change this big since...
I can't remember...because my memory is shot after having three children.
So it is probably since having the three children.

I have been scribbling ideas for books and projects.
Reading young adult lit. Pouring over lesson plans.
Meeting with teacher friends. Begging for their help and insight.
Sending strongly worded texts to my girlfriends: PRAY HEAVY.
Reading teaching books...Ron Clark's Essential 55. This I love.
The First Days of School: How to be an Effective Teacher by Harry Wong.
This makes me feel a little sick to my stomach. (

This afternoon I am meeting again with my 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Cox.
She tells me to call her Marney. But in my heart, she will always be Mrs. Cox.
Best. Teacher. Ever.
She is setting my feet firmly on the path of teacher wisdom

Be firm.
Set boundaries.
Have routines.
Share procedures.
Be prepared.
But be ready to improvise. Because teaching is fluid.

Last meeting I told her, "I have a lot to learn."
She said, "Keeping thinking that. The teacher who thinks they know it all is finished."
I am far from finished. I am just beginning.

And on a practical note, I am realizing that I need to buy more pants.
Because I live in jeans. Literally.
I have worn some type of jean almost every day for the past 16 years.
Even to church. Even to my speaking engagements. Nice jeans...but jeans.
What do people EVEN WEAR when jeans are not an option?
This one has me scrambling.

And I have started setting my alarm for 5:30 am. Because it's coming.
The early mornings. The rush of coffee and adrenaline. This is my future.
Early mornings. Days full of kids I don't know. Grading papers.
New colleagues. New environment. New new. So uncharted. So unknown.
Hence, the hyena like laughter. And the nervous stomach.

But it's okay. My friend, Gayle, who taught a new grade this year said,
"Just stay close to the bathroom the first few weeks. All of us teachers feel the same way."
Those are words of wisdom that I will be heeding.

What I am discovering in this new that even though I may be called "teacher"?
I am the student.
I am the one who will be sitting, feet under desk, taking it all in that first day of school.
I will be learning each child.
I will be asking the other teachers for their input.
I will be studying and planning and implementing and then rearranging everything.
And I will be asking Jesus for moment by moment wisdom and grace and the calming of nerves.
So. Much. To. Learn.

But the funny thing is...laughing and nervousness aside?
I can't wait to get started.


lyndabyrd said...

You'll do great! I'm excited for you!

MsKdowdy said...

You've got this!! You are going to be an amazing teacher and probably the FAVORITE of your students!! I can't wait for the moments when your students come back to you as graduates and tell you how much you meant to them, how much you influenced them, how you made learning fun, how they thought of you thru the years, and most of all how they knew that you cared about them and that they mattered to you.

Anne said...

I have no words of wisdom for you. I'm not a teacher, there is no part of me that would ever want to be a teacher (especially a middle school teacher!), herds of kids scare me. So thank you for doing this, from all the mothers in the same boat! You obviously have a heart for what you will teach, as well as the kids who will be learning - that is priceless.

My words of wisdom come from the perspective of an avid jeans-wearing female. When jeans are not an option, these are my most favorite pants ever from Lands End: They are made from a lovely, heavier knit.... the elastic waist band is thick so it doesn't roll over (there is much rejoicing!!!!).... and they feel like pajamas. No joke. You can dress them up or go hiking in them. They last and look great after many washes. LE also has regular pants (not slim leg - I'm still fighting my pregnant belly 13 yrs later so by the time they fit around my waist, I need a slimmer leg!) - just make sure they're the from the Starfish collection!

Hope that helps a little bit? You might as well make it easy on yourself for all those trips to the bathroom - no buttons or zippers to eat up the 30 seconds you'll have.... :>) Cheering you on!!!