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The Challenges of Being a First-Year Teacher

The Challenges of Being a First-Year Teacher

Mrs. Mimi

I was just thinking back to my first year of teaching. Don’t ask me why…self torture? Self pity? Self reflection? Probably not. More like mind wandering, but whatever. I haven’t written about those first teaching experiences very often because they were so awful that I try to block them in the interest of saving money on therapy because I prefer to present myself as fabulous. And friends, I was far from fabulous in my first year. But who IS fabulous in their first year? You get shoved into a classroom with more responsibility than you know what to do with and presto! You’re supposed to know exactly what to do at every twist and turn. If you ask me and nobody did, first year teachers either need intense mentoring or we should have more of an apprenticeship model- you know, where it’s not all trial by fire (since really, it’s you and the kids that get burned) and filled with tears. OH THE TEARS!!!

And for some reason that I will never understand, first year teachers always seem to have a completely hellatious, uncontrollable, stand twenty feet away from this child at all times, infamously naughty kid in their class. I mean, your first year is all survival mode as it is and then you throw in that type of student? shouting “Hey somebody buy me some stock in Kleenex – I hear it’s on the rise!”

In my first year, I had yet to develop my love of the Naughty Boy. Probably because I had yet to learn how to deal with that conundrum that is the Naughty Boy. Probably because I was busy learning five new curriculums, planning every lesson in minute detail and you know, crying. Whatevs.

The cross I had to bear child who challenged me in my first year was no joke. NO JOKE. I’m talking, I would say this kid’s name and older teachers would clutch their heart in fear, gasping with the sheer horror of it all, desperately trying to push memories of this child out of their brain when they’d realize I was standing RIGHT FREAKING THERE and try to recover tactfully.

I knew I was in for it.

I will spare you the insane detail that was the horror of this child. (Which now I am mature enough to look back and realize that this poor kid was desperately crying out for help. Help which I alone was not qualified to give…I mean, isn’t that reason enough to stop putting the most difficult children in the classes of the least experienced? That and the size of my therapy bills?)

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