My first year of teaching I thought I was the shit. I had a Master’s degree, a wonderful internship under my belt, and a nice teacher to share my classroom with. I just knew it would be a cakewalk. Halfway through the year, when my friend Maggie had to take over my class of all 10th grade boys so I could go cry in the hallway and my tune had changed. Those boys had my number. They put dead animals in my podium and smeared a peanut butter sandwich in my scanner. They were my arch nemeses, the Lex Luthor to my Superman. But I also must thank them for my trial by fire, for I can always look at a class and say “at least it’s not as bad as….”
It’s taken me ten years to reach a point where I feel as confident on the first day of the school year as I did on that first day of teaching. I see young teachers coming in now either overly confident or very good at “faking it until they make it.” I wish I could tell every new teacher that it’s okay to admit that you have absolutely no idea what you’re doing, and that finding the right person to confide in is a key aspect of making it out not only alive, but thriving.