A teacher. That was always the answer to the common question, “what do you want to be when you grow up?!”
I remember teaching a room full of stuffed animals in the 4th grade. If you remember in my previous post, Confession: I Still Feel Guilty for leaving; the Classroom, my heart never really left teaching.
For the past (almost) five years, I ran the Virtual Instruction Program (VIP), which is ever growing. The VIP services 17 schools (10 middle schools, 7 high schools), a full time virtual program, a distance learning program, blended learning initiative in all Economics and Personal Finance courses, a credit recovery program, and evaluating web and software tools for 6-12 students.
Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely PROUD of all the hard work, relationship building, compromising, leading, organizing, pushing and prompting, growth, and communication that equaled success (in my humble opinion). While I interacted with with a large population of educators, including building administrators at all levels, guidance counselors, teachers, and central office staff- I still missed students and the life of a school building.
I learned a TON but mostly, I thought about getting back to a place that included kids, a school, and my passion of instructional technology. And learning. A LOT.
All of my teaching experience has been at the realm of high school. I taught high school freshmen (mostly inclusion World History until 1500) and seniors US Government- both online and face to face. Sometimes I got lucky and got to teach the same amazing kiddos twice.
This has been my first week in a middle school. I am serving as their Technology Integration Specialist and I have loved it. Every minute. And no, that’s not sarcasm that’s me saying with a happy heart I am SO elated to be back in a school supporting teachers and students using technology- which is, after all, kinda my JAM.
In my first week back in a school, I have observed and experienced some fun times! Many things haven’t changed….some things I forgot and some are just like “riding a bike:”
- The teacher “iron bladder” is a real thing. I went all day, all the way home, and into my house before using the restroom. Yes, I am aware that is not healthy. I’m not even sure I ate that day.
- There is no tired like “teacher tired.” I spent a lot of time behind my desk as the E-Learning Coordinator. So, my first week in a school building has brought blisters, couch sleeping by 8:00pm, and thankfully some feet rubs from my sweet husband.
- After working with 17 schools, I already knew this to be true but every school has it’s own personality. You can walk in and “feel” it, if you are truly paying attention. I am learning more and more about my new school’s personality each day. I like what I see. They are good people who work to do what’s best for kids.
- I feel like a brand new teacher again. It’s humbling. I don’t know everything- or much of anything yet. In my old position- I was the expert, not the novice. Yes, I am tech savvy but I still don’t know who handles certain processes/procedures and where the bathroom is or even where I am printing to half the time!
- Kids are still kids. Their energy is contagious. They also don’t have a good “puke meter.” This is why someone sweet child threw up allllllll outside my office door. The orange stuff? Yep. It’s still the same- nasty as ever.
- If you are doing your job in a school, heels are not your friend. Very few people can walk in heels all day and not feel the burn. I felt the burn by day 3, day 4 I was pushing into the blister zone and by Friday I was rocking leopard print flats.
- The secretary knows everything. She is your first line of defense when in full freak out mode. Shout out to Jennifer who has been a true peach as I transition into my new position.
- If you listen to what people are really saying, you will learn. This is especially important when being a new person in a new land. I am doing my very best to listen more than I talk.
- I had forgotten the feeling of not knowing the weather and walking outside to a beautiful 60 degree day in the middle of February. Gosh, what a nice surprise!
- Last but not least, I still feel at home in a school. I still love the pace of bells ringing, shoes shuffling, a touch of drama, and a the sound of kids talking in between classes. Sigh. Home sweet home.
Bring on a new week! Follow along with my Middle School Tech Integration Specialist shenanigans by subscribing today.
This week I will be going into my first classroom to do Quizlet Live with a French I class and creating a technology newsletter to distribute weekly.
Check out my other post on being new as a teacher in 25 Pieces of Advice for New Teachers I Wish Someone Would’ve Told Me.
Thanks for reading!