Nearly three months since my last post.
I switched careers. To teaching. I was in social work, for those of you that need a refresher. I have been enjoying the transition...until today. I applied and was accepted into an accelerated teaching program and loved it, and loved the kids I worked with during summer school, but in a few SO SHORT weeks, I will be in charge of my own classroom of 9 students in special education. I will lead them through this school year and help them grow and learn.
I met the principal today. And the principal's assistant. I received mixed messages. Looks of disdain, disbelief, annoyance. I know I look young. I am young. But that does not make me incompetent. Once these people told me what I would be experiencing, like I didn't know, I felt the wind knocked out of me. I felt like I was going in the wrong direction.
How can this be? I have been feeling called to this - I have seen signs directing me to go in this direction. And when someone simply challenges my thoughts or makes me feel inadequate I want to give up? That is my own downfall and I cannot let it continue.
They warned me of it all. They warned me of what these 9 boys will do. I felt small and insignificant, someone who surely can't make a change in this world - in THEIR world. I will be teaching in the inner city. I am not familiar, at least, not as much, with this way of life, but I know a lot about it and I believe I can make a difference, if merely a small one. Having people doubt me just makes it worse. I want someone to encourage me and to say, even if untrue, that I WILL be able to handle it.
I took a tour of the school and saw my own classroom. Instead of a rush of excitement to decorate my own classroom and to make it my own, I felt discouraged. I don't know if I can do it. How can I demand authority? What if they don't listen, which they won't? When a student runs from the classroom, who goes after him...me or the paraprofessional? I can't leave the other 8 by themselves!
More and more questions present themselves and I am feeling continuously let down. During this small break, it didn't seem real but now that I have seen the classroom, I know it is, and I now have a limited amount of time to prepare. Lessons, classroom management, classroom decor, etc. I only have a week and a half and I don't even know where to begin. I don't know these kids! I don't know their needs, their weaknesses. What do I do the first week of school?
I just feel so surprised and so shaken up, but by what? I knew what I was getting into. It is not a shock. Maybe now that I see how much responsibility I have. Now that I see that I have so much to do in this short time, I am feeling stressed and anxious and rushed and don't know how it will be that first day. Who these kids are.
Anyways. That's been my life.