Monday, August 25, 2014

First Year Flashback

Today was my fifth first day as a teacher. It's kind of crazy to think that I've been teaching for 5 years already. To some it's not a lot, but to others it is. To me I just think "where have the years gone?" What better way than to link up with The ESOL Odyssey and share my First Year Flashback!

What age group and subject were you teaching?
I co-taught 7th grade math with 2 awesome teachers. I was the Special Education teacher, so I got to accommodate the lessons and tests. We actually switched back and forth between teaching when a new topic came up, so it was great! Loved my first team! Go Tiger Team!

What was your first classroom like?
It was smaller, but only because I only pulled students out for testing, their study halls, and small group lessons or reteaching.

Were you give supplies or materials?
The building had just gotten finished being remodeled, so everything was new and beautifully untouched. The teachers I worked with had SmartBoards in their rooms, and I did end up getting a "mobile" one closer to the end of the year. As far as supplies, I bought a lot of stuff. That was probably only because I was so excited to have my first teaching job, that I stocked up on those sweet Staples penny deals.

What was the hardest part of your first year teaching?
My first year of teaching was spent away from everyone and everything I ever knew. I actually loved where I lived, my roommate was awesome and my school was just off the wall amazing! It just really stunk being so far away from my husband (then-boyfriend turned fiance) and my family... even though Texas is a whole heck of a lot farther away from my parents than Virginia is!

What was the best part of your first year teaching?
Honestly?! Absolutely everything! I have nothing bad to say about that school, the district or the people that I worked with. I was extremely blessed and still consider it to be the best school I've ever worked for (although my current school is giving them a good run for the money :) ). My kids were awesome, my team was great... did I mention that I loved that school and being a teacher at that school? At any point in the last 3 years of my teaching career, if you'd have asked me to move back to Virginia and teach at that school... I would have gone, no questions asked. For now I'm content in my current school... it feels so good to feel appreciated as an educator again! :)

What do you know now that you wish you'd have known your first year?
One thing I wish I would have done is actually kept a book or started a book of the funny things kids say. I promise you, if you don't do this... you'll regret it. I sure do! There are a few conversations I remember here and there, but man, kids sure do say the darndest things! Oh yeah, and not to give up a good teaching job when you have it. I had good reason (getting married), but I still do and always will compare every other school I work at to my first school. Thank goodness for Facebook to keep me in contact with a few of my close teacher friends from that school.


  1. My first year (19 years ago) was terrible. I was only 21 years old & had a 5th grade class. I was the youngest teacher in the corporation & the first one hired in long time at my school. I had a student bring marijuana to school & was expelled for awhile. I had another student bring a porn magazine & tear out the pages to distribute in the boys' restroom. If I was absent the students would change all of the nametags around & switch desks for the sub. While absent (I used every sick day that year!) one day I had a girl stand on top of her desk, call the sub, a b...h & tell her she didn't have to listen to her. My classroom was loaded with behavior problems thanks to the other teachers getting to decide the class list for the new teacher. I had recess duty 5 days a week, while the other teachers had it 2 days. I also only had a special 2 days a week, so the other 3 days no breaks except my lunch. One student brought an empty bullet shell casing to school, laid it on his desk, and told me it was for me. I honestly cried most mornings & if we didn't need the money, I probably would have walked away from teaching for good. Luckily..I didn't quit & I've never had another year like that.

  2. I taught first grade my first year. I subbed the first twenty days with a fabulous teacher and about 35 students. After the twenty day report, we split the class and I had others added from different classes. I was also hired as the after school dance coach which was so much fun. I choreographed a dance to a song from the Jump In soundtrack (I'm pretty sure that just gave away my I had a great group of students and parents. They are now in high school, and I think about them all the time. I can't wait to go to their high school graduation. I was not provided with materials for our programs, but was able to collaborate with some fabulous ladies to make it a successful year. I had learned so much for my cooperating teacher, but it took me a few years to put everything into place. Occasionally, I remember something else she taught me and put it into action and question why I haven't done it sooner since I'd be taught years ago. I'm grateful to all of the people who have supported me in my teaching career including my parents, husband, co-workers, friends, school families, and church friends. I couldn't have done it without them. My advice to new teachers is to not be afraid to ask for help. There are tons of people who want to plan parties, cut laminating, work with small groups, and other tasks that can be tedious alone. Use your resources! They really do want to be a part of the classroom community, so include them in any way you can. Start slow and build as you go and HAVE FUN!

    A Teaspoon of Teaching

  3. Five years-congratulations. Your flashback post was fun to read. I too taught ICS for my first year and loved it! 17 years in now! :)