I remember my very first teaching job. After graduating college in May, and unexpectedly passing the Praxis I exam (without any preparation), I was offered a provisional license and a job teaching 9th grade ELA.
I spent the entire summer reading through the massive literature textbook, trying to desperately digest everything from Harry Wong’s “First Days of School”, and finding cool activities online. In my mind, that was the extent of what I needed in order to be successful for the first couple of weeks of school. I practiced my “teacher face” and made sure I spent a hefty amount of money on teacher clothes.
After the first couple of weeks of school, I knew I was nowhere near ready to teach anybody’s child, but what’s a girl to do? I remember listening to the veteran teachers during our PD sessions and faculty meetings and feeling like I’d never get to their level. My shyness wouldn’t let me ask for help. Some of them treated me like I felt; inexperienced and unqualified.
During that time, there were no PLNs (Personal Learning Networks). There were no effective PLCs. There were no real collaborative efforts that would support my growth as a new teacher. I felt stuck, I felt miserable, and I wanted to quit by November.
When we sat and thought about things we wanted to put in place for our novice teachers, we immediately thought of ways our teachers could learn from the best of the best, in a self-paced, non-judgmental way. We wanted transparency. We wanted raw. And we wanted it to be like a conversation with your best bud. We also wanted to think about our walk as a new teacher and what we felt we needed during those dark days.
#TeacherTalkTuesday is our modern take on having candid dialogues with the teachers you secretly envy. You know, the ones who have the well managed classes. The ones who have high proficiency levels. The ones who have positive professional relationships with their colleagues, the parents, and the students. The ones who are walking Pinterest boards. The ones who do it all with such ease.
It is our hope that you learn that all of the great professionals started out just like you…a beginner. They have used their experiences and mistakes to learn a more efficient way of doing things. None of them knew exactly what they were doing when they started out. You will hear that in their personal stories and in the advice they offer to you.
Pour a glass of your favorite summer beverage, pop in your earbuds, sit back and enjoy our #TeacherTalkTuesday series. Be sure to like and share!