Middle School Hero

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Aug 08 2013

Year two, take two

Teaching has given me a tremendous sense of perspective. The lows (which you’ve probably read on here) are never as bad as they seem and they highs are never as great. In your lowest moments, you are still the strongest, most stable influence in many kids’ lives and in your best moments you still have a long, long way to go.

That being said, on Sunday evening (when I posted last) I felt like a bad teacher. For all of the reasons I explained then, I didn’t feel like I was capable of making a difference here. Now, that’s not true and I understand that. And by the same token, I’m aware that what I’m going to see next also isn’t true, but this is my blog so I’m going to say it:

Guys, I am the best teacher in the world.

Everything since this school year started has gone great. All of my fears and worries have been assuaged in the best way possible. I’m developing relationships with the kids already, I’ve got a gameplan for where we’re gonna go this year, and so far, investment has been off the charts. Sure, I’m absolutely exhausted every single day when I get home but it’s fine because, quite simply, I have hope.

I have hope that I will be able to make a difference.

I have hope that I can stay abreast of all the work rising up to meet me.

I have hope that I can be a good teacher and that I can serve my students and that things will be better this year and that it is possible to turn RMS into a good, safe place for students to be.

Now, just because I have hope, does that mean I’ve arrived?
No, not at all. The more I learn about how to teach, the more I realize how little I truly know. I walked out of Institute feeling like I had some sort of nuts-and-bolts comprehension of what teaching entailed. Now I’m hitting my year two stride and for every success, I think about six things I could have done better. But never feeling satisfied is part of the territory that comes with teaching students who by age 14 are already way off track.

I’m not as good as I feel. But I’m also not as bad as I’ve felt.

Welcome back to RMS. Things are looking up.

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