Teach Houston

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Aug 06 2014

the second year begins.

And so it goes.


I’m not really sure where to begin. It’s been a whirlwind of a week; last week, in the span of 24 hours, I tried to gracefully transition from corporate/private sector life back to school life. It was a little rough. I spent two days in content leadership training, then headed back to school on Monday for nine days of professional development.

In sum, it’s been wonderful to be back. I feel like I’m coming home, in some ways. I’ll be back in Room 23 again this year. I’m teaching the exact same thing as I was last year, this time with the added benefit of never having to be a first-year teacher again. I understand the culture and systems at my school. I submitted my TFA vision for the year on time and am excited for the way it will steer me this year. I came home to a wonderful friend group, made up of school friends and non-school friends, who welcomed me warmly, as if I’d never left.

In other ways, it’s been rough. I am awful with change and this transition is no exception. Two of my best school friends left our school, meaning I need to adjust to a day-to-day reality without the love and support they provided. My instructional coach and mentor teacher have also moved on. Though all four of these people are still in education, it means the daily makeup of my teaching life has changed a lot, and I deeply miss them. We are best friends in every sense of the word…on our first day back, with two of us still at school and two of us having moved on, all four of us cried, and didn’t realize why until we all texted each other later that evening. It’s because we were kind of like a little family.

My grade level team has also changed a lot. As a teacher with only one full year of teaching under my belt I am now the second-most senior teacher on our team of eight. Goodness gracious. With “veteran status” comes responsibility – I can no longer just focus on my own classroom and leave the rest to my team, as I sort of did last year. I am excited about the opportunities for leadership but also nervous about the added responsibility that entails.


I am comforted, though, by the knowledge that things happen for a reason. I will receive less support this year because that is the natural order of things. It’s the way I find out if this life really is for me. I am also comforted by the idea of having new students to call my own. I will miss my old ones tremendously…they will always be deeply special to me…but I can’t wait to meet 96 little souls, ready to learn something new about the world around them.

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    Journeys, challenges, & writings of a first-year teacher.

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