Lessons and Learnings

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Aug 15 2012


In my last job, I got to work between 9:30 and 10:30 everyday.  I woke up between 7 and 8 and hit the road around 9 or 9:30.  Now I find myself leaving around 6:30 which means waking up at 5 so I can make it to New Teacher Institute on time.  I know the school year is going to be no different.  As a result?  By lunch I’m completely grumpy.

I realize this is something I need to get used to.  I’m no longer the night owl I once was.  I also no longer have to go into work on Saturdays and Sundays.  I can work from home.  But when I am already ripping my hair out and we start talking about something I am extremely educated on and the false methodologies are mistaken for accurate, I want to scream.

I have a lot of opinions about things.  But this blog isn’t entirely about my opinions.  I am trying to 1) save face and 2) recognize that what I say on here will forever be out in internet land.  So the fact things are being said inaccurately isn’t the problem here.

The problems are:

1) I’m a perfectionist.  I know biology and I know it very well.  But THIS DOESN’T MEAN I CAN TEACH IT.  So while I want to pipe up every time I hear someone saying something about science that is wrong, my job isn’t to knit-pick their understandings.  Right now my job is to take the information and processes they are giving me to become an excellent teacher.

2) I am stressing about things I don’t need to stress about just yet.  Last night someone told me I don’t need to be a 5th year teacher on my first year.  Right now it is trial and error.  Of course, being grumpy, I completely bit his head off.  But he is right.  I AM NOT A FIFTH YEAR TEACHER.  I am learning.

3)  Understanding sharing and stealing resources doesn’t mean I have to do it their way.  For example, I want objectives.  So I am going to write objectives and check them off one by one.  Other people may find this mundane and a waste of time.  But my brain works well looking at the small pieces and putting them together into large picture so that is how I am going to roll.  It will help me organize my units if I can make the connections with the puzzle pieces in front of me.

4)  I need more sleep.  I went to bed last night at 9:30.  I am hoping a couple weeks of 9:30 bedtimes and I will be a happy camper. Caffeine may also help.  Note to self – more coffee may also help.

So while this has been a useful week, it has also been stressful.  However, to steal from Institute ;) , not everything is in my locus of control.  I have to do this no matter how stressed it may make me.  Additionally, I cannot control what others know or do.  I can only control how I react to others.  So while we may all be stressed, I need to not let it get to me.  And although not everything has been amazing, there are definitely awesome tidbits of information coming out of this week….

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