There are only three more days of school. God is good all the time, and all the time God is good! Bless it all. As I am wrapping up my fourth year of teaching, I find myself remembering all of the crazy things that occurred during my first year of teaching.
I DIDN'T KNOW A THING. I am a graduate of one of the best teacher education programs in the country. I know that I had all of the training and education needed, but holy smokes. I had no clue what I doing. Not just with the teaching thing...but the whole being an a real adult thing. I had to find an apartment, I had to pay off student loans, I had to get insurance, I had to make new friends, I had to learn how to live in large city. It was crazy. I still have issues with some of these things....hello student loans.
My saving grace, besides Jesus, I was the fifth choir teacher in five years at my school. Choir had been a revolving door of teachers, inconsistencies, and low expectations. So really, anything that I did would have been better than what was there before.! Choir at Sequoyah was dying, and my principal, Cindy Williamson and Fine Arts director at the time, Mark Frie were crazy enough to put a "kid" in the classroom. Oh man, it was a roller coaster. But one of the best ones I have ever been on.
There were scary moments. Oh man, there were scary moments. Like when two sisters decide to get into a fist fight before class. Or when you ask the question how many beats are in a quarter note and you hear the answers 25, 7, and IDK my BFF Jill. When you have your first concert and you have to cut a song five minutes before the doors open. When a storm knocks out your power and you wake up at 7;20 and you have to be at school at 7:30. When you have a student that likes you but hates music so that kid goes and hangs out at the donut shop down the street. When you go to OSSAA contest for the first time. When you have kids audition for All State for the first time. When you go on your first amusement park field trip (remember me and all of my bus trip luck). When you have to make that first parent phone call to assign a detention.
But even with the scary moments there are some brilliantly awesome ones. Like when you take a choir to OSSAA contest and they get a superior for the first time in six years. Or when you finally get kids to understand that a quarter note receives one beat not twenty five. Or when you find out that your numbers for your classes double.
And with any teaching experience there is always something hilarious. Like when you are in a car wreak totaling your car and you have to drive your grandma's Crown Victoria and students bring you tire rims for your Crown Victoria. And when I bring, I mean lift them off of their older brother's car. If students stealing tire rims for your Crown Victoria isn't love, I don't know what is. Or when you have to walk backwards conducting in five inch heels, and that was just on your first concert. When an eighth grader walks up to and says "Miss Loyd I need to tacos to you. Haha I made a Mexican food joke." Or when your bus misses the exit on the highway and proceeds to back up on the highway. Then because the bus has been in reverse for so long the bus shuts down.
I laughed a lot. I cried a lot. I banged my head against my desk a lot. But I wouldn't change a thing. So to all of those first year teachers that are wrapping up that crazy and emotional first year. Don't stop! The next year is better, and then the year after that and year after that. I'm not saying that it will sunshine and ponies everyday, but you will know you better. You will know your teaching better and you will be better prepared. Don't give up the fight. You are a rock star and you can do this! For those crazy college kids about to embark on the first year. Find a mentor, get a buddy teacher to help you out, they will be such a huge resource to you and they will become one of your close friends. Get to know your administrators, they are there for you! Never be scared to go to them when you are overwhelmed and need that extra help. Keep a journal. Read it on the last day of school and look at how far you have come. Remember that you will only be a first year teacher once. And praise Jesus that is the case!