Recently, I’ve been concerning myself with my new position that is set to start this Fall. While excited for the change and challenges, I am thrown into new territory in terms of content. My most recent teaching experience has had me confident in my role, the usual standards of practice, and what to expect (mostly) on a regular, daily basis.
In addition this year, I will be meeting all new students, which as strange as it sounds, is a little different from previous years. My most current role had me in a small school, in which I knew (or knew of) most of the students. I can’t help but be a little nervous learning about all my new students this year.
I can’t forget that I will also be meeting a lot of new people in terms of school staff. I will be travelling to a number of different schools, meeting new administration, resource teachers, parents, and community members. I’m not one of those people who can easily remember people when I meet them, I need time to let it all sink in. (usually this means a few meetings!)
These points seem to putting more pressure on myself than usual to perform well. I’m making an effort to learn my new role, reading and researching, but the reality is, there is only so much you can learn about something “on paper”. Until I actually dip my toe in the water, I won’t really know the whole experience.
This is somewhat difficult for me and my personality, because I like to feel sure-footed in my role. I’m creating scenarios and “what if” cases to which I don’t know the answers. Yet. I can’t quite live up to the expectations I’ve set for myself. This is frustrating because I can’t possibly know everything and have answers to my questions until the situation actually happens.
In terms of meeting new people, well, that will be a sure test to me. I definitely want this job. I want to have connections in the schools and be able to share, collaborate, and network with new people. On the other hand, I have to meet new people. Haha.
I need to balance the personal expectations of myself and what can be reasonably expected in the early going. Having a decent knowledge base and finding a few tricks to overcome those initial, awkward introductions is a good start. I’m sure I will learn more with each passing day and also get increasingly comfortable entering new schools and getting to know people. I can’t expect to have 5 years experience in the job after only 1 day.
Again, I’m always learning. Two years ago, starting my leave of absence, I was realizing all the fears my students may have trying something new. I became much better at guiding students and understanding different points of view. My perspective improved and my teaching improved. This year, starting a new job will also have me feeling what it is like to be a student all over again. The focus might be a little more on the “content” end of things, but the “connection” part is always important to help deliver that content.