Sunday, January 16, 2011

I whistle a happy tune...

I am in my first year of teaching in a Montessori classroom. I love the methods, I love the theory, I love the kids. I am struggling, as all first year teachers do. I have read account after account of similar struggles. I have read several books detailing what to do. I have the luxury of a head teacher who is extremely experienced and willing to explain why we do what we do.

Some days are wonderful! The kids show me a new way of looking at life and the world around me. They say funny things and do strange things or just run up out of the blue and give you a hug. I love teaching and would never dream of anything else. Some days are terrible. No one listens, my voice starts to get horse, I get sneezed on, step in puddles in the bathroom in my socks. I ask myself why it is that I started this and remember how untrained I am and that I have no applicable skills.

The weekends are either spent recovering and catching up on all the chores I have left unfinished throughout the week or trying to make up for lost time and catch up with friends that I have ended up seeing less of then I would like.

Some time I wonder if I will ever feel like a real teacher. My head teacher, in giving me advice on effective discipline, told me that it has to come from inside, you have to feel it before the kids will listen and that no one else can help me. My father, a high school teacher, told me to remember that I am the teacher. I think that the kids can tell when I am feeling unsure of myself and run with it.

I was talking to a close friend who is much older than I am and I asked her if you ever really feel like an adult. She started to answer, hemmed and hawed a little bit, but the final answer was no, you get more mature and see that you were a stupid young person, but you never really feel any different. Which is comforting on some level and disheartening on another. I wanted to know that it would all solidify at some point and I would feel "grown up" and like a "real teacher" and I know that at some point, like getting old, I will start to mature and feel more sure of myself, but as my lead teacher pointed out, it won't come from a manuel or advice. While they are helpful, eventually, it all works out ok.

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