It’s my second year teaching 6th grade in Oregon’s largest middle school. What a difference a year makes.
Last year, I had no idea what I was teaching.
Fortunately, I had an excellent teaching partner who held my hand through the whole year. She had taught 6th grade for years and knew which end was up. I felt completely topsy-turvy for the first couple of months. Everything and everyone was new. Slowly, my knowledge grew, and, with it, my confidence.
I started this year feeling more self-assured. I knew people. I knew what I was teaching and how things worked. I knew what I was doing.
Unfortunately, my teaching partner received some bad news and had to leave town for a family emergency. She will miss at least the first two weeks of school and so, the shoe is now on the other foot. I get to be the expert, guiding her sub through the first few weeks of school, explaining units and clarifying procedures.
Although it is helping my teaching partner and her sub, it is helping me, too. Although I was a little anxious at first, knowing I bore an extra burden helping the room next door get off to a good start, I now feel even more confident than I had in late August.
When I left my old school, I was something of an institution there. I now think that I could be come that here. And that is saying a lot.