- Articles

A year in the work life of a new high school teacher


I got into teaching kind of as a
second career. It was something that I’d always wanted to
do, but hadn’t for whatever reason. I’d done other things. I was a sales guy for years.. So I decided to quit my sales gig, went back to school, and haven’t look back since. I think it’s all about like relationships, you know, the relationships in the building with the staff and working with new people and learning from them, and then maybe even more important than that, just the students.. getting that interaction with them, and so you know there should be some bumps along the way, and it’s going to be trying in a lot of
ways, but it’s exciting too. I think the challenge right now is just there’s not enough time in the day. You know what I mean? There’s just so many things that need to
get done, and I know not everything needs to perfect by monday. But it’s just.. yeah
that time thing, there’s just not enough time. You know I don’t know if it’s something I wish that I knew. I just wish that I had that experience. I’m teaching something that I’ve never taught before and I’m teaching AP, which I’ve never taught before. And so, just not have that background.
Not having that frame of reference. I just wish I had that experience of going through it at least one time. I think just the newness of everything, you know this is like I said a new career for me. You know I’m getting to meet new people starting next Monday when all the students come in, and yeah. Just kinda headed in a totally unknown direction but you know direction I’m definitely excited about. I think is a teacher I’m just somebody who cares about kids, you know what I mean? I think I’m somebody who’s here for the right reasons, and who wants to see my students succeed. Things are going well, I mean, I think
they’re going really well. It’s been.. I mean time wise it’s a huge commitment.
Energy-wise, it’s a huge commitment, but the thing is, I really like what I’m doing, and so that makes all the difference in the world. .. what I wish I would have known in September.. um, I wish I would have just known what like the daily, or even weekly routine was gonna look like. Just having that experience like I might’ve planned
a little bit less just because like I ended up not using a ton of the
the stuff that I thought I would. I just wish I’d been doing this for like two or
three years you know I.. I have lessons where I think they go pretty well but
there’s always something that I would tweak. You know, and I would like to just kind
of have the plan of attack going forward from day one vs sometimes you know, I
feel like this year. It’s planned out as you are, as good as your intentions are
there are gonna be times when you just kinda have to do it on the fly. You know it’s just the amount of time
being in the building, and then staying organized is part of that and I think
that you know even if you have the best intentions it’s still just kind of
a feeling out process. You know, and I haven’t got that point yet where I feel
like “Oh I’m on top of this” You know, like I’m ahead of things. And so, I know that will come with time probably not the first year. It’s the students you know I
think the students are the best part of this job and there’ll be days where.. You
know you were at school late grading something, and you know you’re not in the best mood when you get in there. And you get in early cause you have stuff to plan out and do, but when you see the
kids it makes it all worth it, I think. I’m pretty secure in Who I am as a
person I think, and so I think that helps as a teacher. You know I think that comes across, so I don’t worry about that too much. But I know that as a teacher I’m somebody who is going to continue to grow and get better. See it’s kind of a work in progress, but I’m figuring out and having fun doing it. It’s a strange time of year, where… We don’t have a lot of three day weekends or breaks or anything like that. And I think.. You know I can sense it with the kids a little bit, you know what I mean. It’s kinda getting a little monotonous, but ah.. I think these are still going well I mean
on my end I’m really enjoying it still. How my kids are going to do on the AP exam. That’s.. aha.. that’s the biggest thing for me right now that I’m really concerned about. Other than that, you know just kinda how to… I don’t know just kind of end out the year on a positive note. I mean I know I’m not looking that far ahead but I know it’s.. it’s coming up pretty quick here, so. Initially you’re just kinda doing your best,
you’re surviving a little bit, and so I feel like I’ve gotten confident, so that’s nice
to have that feeling. It’s just a time issue, you know I mean?
It’s still coming in on weekends and things like that and I know it’s gonna
be like that for, for a while. But yeah, there’s not enough hours in the day to
get everything done that I want to do. It’s been the kids pretty much all along you know, and I like the work and I like lesson planning. I like my colleagues, you know, I like
being around them and bouncing ideas off of them, so it’s been pretty much the
same thing all year. I get along with the kids pretty well I think I have pretty good relationships with them I feel like they can come to me and I think they know that.
So I think that, that’s pretty good. You know I think I work hard at what I do, and I think that, that shows in the fact I’m pretty organized. You know, I have a game plan going in every day.
I never just show up and wing it. Things are going well, I mean it’s kind
of a busy time of year. In some ways it’s a little bit less stressful because you can kind of see a light at the end of the tunnel. In some ways it’s more stressful
because you’re just trying to get everything done and end on a good note.. so.. ah, a little
bit of both but I think it’s going well. I think the biggest challenges, honestly, are making sure that kids are still engaged. And then making sure that even though you know the end is coming up.. I’m still doing a good job everyday and giving them everything that I have. So I think those are probably the two biggest challenges right now. You know, as a first year teacher some
things are gonna work out anyways, right? And, so you might as well just dive into
it headfirst and kind of learn as you go. And that can be, you know, for somebody
who likes to be organized and… have things well thought out, and planned.. That can be a little bit scary I think sometimes, but I really think there is no better way than just kind
of dive in headfirst, and go for it. I think it’s changed, but I think the
important thing is to still remember, you know, I’m still a work in progress as a
teacher. You know there are some things that.. ahh.. this year I think what well some
things that would do differently. And so, I’m kind of in the process right now of
going back and figuring out. “Hey I like this”, “I didn’t like this”, “This is what I want next year”, “This is what I want to keep the same”. So.. I think it’s just that process of continuing to grow and realizing it’s not, not completed yet by a long shot.

About James Carlton

Read All Posts By James Carlton

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *