Yesterday I wrote about how excited I am to begin teaching fifth grade in the fall. This excitement isn’t without some anxiety, though. Here are five things I’m worried about as I think about these upcoming changes:
- Trying too many new things at once. I’ve learned so much over the past six years and my core philosophy has changed so drastically that I’m worried about “biting off more than I can chew.” (Hopefully my level-headed team will keep me sane and help me decide what I can reasonably take on!)
- Social drama. I taught fourth grade for a long time and have worked in a lot of intermediate classrooms, so I’m no stranger to the conflicts that arise between kids. However, I don’t look forward to the drama that seems to escalate in fifth grade, especially the ways it’s fueled now by social media. I really don’t like seeing kids I care about hurt each other.
- Adjusting to less flexibility than I’ve had for the past several years. I’ve been able to do a lot of unique and interesting things because my job hasn’t fit into a perfect little daily schedule. I have been able to go to the bathroom when I need to and eat when I’m hungry. While I welcome having a routine again, it will be a big shift.
- Judgment. I’ve spent the past six years coaching and mentoring new teachers. Many people have been so supportive of this position, but there have always been a few who didn’t understand my role (and even a few of those few who haven’t always been nice about it). I’m afraid that when (not if) I make a mistake, those few will be waiting to judge. (Yes, they don’t really matter, but I think I worry too much about being viewed as “different” because of my time out of the classroom when I’ve never really viewed myself as anything other than a teacher who got to teach other teachers.)
- Balancing all of the responsibilities in my life. Since leaving the classroom, I took on the most important job I’ve ever had: Mom (I found out I was expecting my son the day before my last day as a classroom teacher). I also decided last spring to return to school for my doctorate in Teacher Leadership and will graduate at the end of next school year. My National Board certification is up for renewal next year, too. I will have a lot on my plate (and I’m going to have to be very smart about managing it all)! Again, this is where those level-headed teams (my home one and my school one) get to help me stay sane!
I’m excited to join other writers every Tuesday (and daily during the month of March) in 2017 to participate in the Slice of Life writing challenge through Two Writing Teachers. Read all about how you can Write. Share. Give. on their website here.