In August, I started teaching.
Even though my degree is technically in education, I had no classroom experience prior to this year, but I was given an amazing opportunity so I took it.
I spent a good part of the summer hoping that my students would like me. I always held my teachers in such high regard; I wanted to be like them.
Those first few weeks really tested me. Not only did I have to learn 98 new students names and faces, but I had to assert myself as a teacher. I was bound and determined for my kids to respect me, but I wanted to have fun, too.
I teach Physical Education in a school that didn’t have much structure until I was brought in and tasked with creating a curriculum (with a ton of help from my sister). The students weren’t used to having tasks they had to perform and rules they needed to follow.
As most teachers expect, I made a few enemies right away.
Until recently, I’d just been grinning and baring it. The comments from the students (only a few, not all of them) were getting to me and making me feel like a terrible teacher. Was I going about this the wrong way? I know I have no formal training, but I thought I’d been fair and equitable.
A few weeks ago, a student talked back to me for the millionth time and all though I held it together long enough for class to end and me to get back to my office, I completely lost it. The tears flowed and I couldn’t calm myself down.
I felt terrible about myself.
With that awful day behind me (the student talking back was not the first bad thing to happen that day), I took the weekend to refocus.
I am new to teaching.
I have students that love my class.
I can’t please everyone.
My peers respect what I’m doing and often complement me for it.
When I went back and thought about the last 6 months, I realized that I have made an impact. I’ve seen kids become much more confident in my class because to me, everyone is an athlete and I treat them as such.
With that philosophy, I hope that in my classroom, everyone can be who they are. We make no judgements on athletic abilities. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you see someone struggling, make an effort to help them out. Everyone is an integral part of the team.
During my class, I am completely myself. I play the music from my iPod which is mostly Disney songs. I wear my superhero sweatshirts and I go all out for the spirit days we have (especially Pajama Day because that’s my favorite).
I hope that by doing this, I’m making myself more approachable which results in more confident students.