Thursday, July 14, 2011

Just Keep Swimming

Remember Dori on Finding Nemo and the song she used to sing? "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming." Well that is how I feel right now. I am trying to swim, but I am stuck in the deepest part of the ocean and I can't see the light just yet! I know that this year of teaching is going to be incredibly rough, but I also am still young (and inexperienced) enough to think that I can change the world. Well maybe I know that I can't change the world, but I can certainly change the minds of my 4th graders. I have dreams for my classroom. I hope that it can be a fun place where my kids can be themselves, but I also want them to learn. I want them to be focused, and I want them to get what I try to teach them. I want it to be an atmosphere that is encouraging and not controlling. Again, I know that that this is an extremely idealistic point of view. I am enough of a realist to know that my dreams will most likely be crushed, and that this will be the hardest year of my life. I want this blog to be a place where I can write my feelings out. I want to remember my highs and lows of this year.

Today was the first day that I was able to go to my classroom!! It was exciting, yet discouraging. Exciting because I now have my very own classroom. I have been working towards this day the past 22 years of my life. From the time I was young, all I wanted to do was be a mommy and a teacher. I know without a shadow of a doubt that the Lord has called me to this profession. With His will and guidance, I know that I can be a great teacher. However, as a first year teacher I am obviously completely unprepared for this year. Those of you who know me, know that I am a planner to the extreme. I am a big picture thinker, and I love to think ahead. But I literally cannot see the big picture. I have so many questions that cant be answered by another teacher, they are answers that I have to learn for myself by going through the motions.

I came home today and sat in my moms bed and cried for the 1st time. (I'm not really sure that it bodes will for me to have already cried before I even begin my job!) I cried because I am extremely overwhelmed. I know that I don't have enough instruction materials, I have no idea of how to even begin that first week of class. Do 4th graders know their multiplication facts? If not, how do I even begin to teach that?! What is a word that is too hard for them to spell? Is Charlottes Web ok to begin reading with them the 1st week of class, or do they need to work up to that book? Where do I want them to put their supplies? Do I want to have my makeup folder by the door or by my desk? What do I put in the supply cabinet? Do I put all of the students supplies or my supplies? Where do I put the reading center? What math manipulatives do I need to buy? How do I go about buying them? As you can see, I have many questions. On top of these questions are about 1000 more (just ask my poor mother, she sat and listened to all of them).

I know that this year is going to be an incredible year in so many ways. It will be incredibly difficult. It will be incredibly exciting. It will be a year of incredible growth as a teacher and in my walk with the Lord. I know that Jesus will continue to sanctify me throughout this process. I am so incredibly excited, but also incredibly terrified!

These next few weeks I will continue to swim through the deep water and be gasping for breath. But I do know that the light will come soon, and all I have to do is just keep swimming!

"For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver." Psalm 66:10