Next Tuesday is my first day on the job as a middle-school science teacher! I can’t wait. I have been on vacation for the past 3 weeks, and I must admit that I have been horrible at enjoying it.
All I could think of were all the preparations I needed to do to get ready for the first day of school (and the rest of the year), but without the necessary information, many of my checklists and mini-projects (class website and wiki, first-day newsletter, etc) have fallen on the wayside. Most of next week is set aside as orientation for the new teachers, and then the rest of August will be spent with team departments on professional development and collaborative lesson-planning.
I feel like a jumble of taut nerves ready to jump into work, but I’m trying to check myself because I know that the day will come soon enough and then I’ll be wishing for time off! It dawned on me that while I couldn’t work just yet, I could jot down some goals for myself for the new school year.
Keep up a healthy lifestyle. I have the nasty habit of letting my gym workouts go when I get too busy at work. Since school is year-round, my goal is to figure out where I can best incorporate daily sessions in my schedule. Eating healthier is another sub-goal, but that can be done easily by packing more fruits and salads for lunch and snacks. Other sub-goals are to schedule in time for myself, and to balance my work with family time. Maybe I will try to avoid bringing work home on the weekends and go back to “Technology Weekend Shut Downs”, where my family and I stay away from our smartphones and computers during the weekend and focus on quality family time.
Be humble and ask for help. One of my flaws is that sometimes I can be proud and arrogant. As a young and new teacher, I understand that I may have fresh ideas but I also lack the experience. I shouldn’t expect myself to rush and do everything at once, and to get it right the first time. I want to contribute my strengths to my team and the school, but most importantly, I should also know when I need to stop and ask for help.
Be true to myself. I am sure that there will be some tough times ahead, but I think that I will get through it as long as I remember my purpose for learning and for teaching. There is a lot of advice out there on a million things related to teaching, but it won’t work if it does not align with my own values. If I strive to work every day in love, honesty, and integrity, I think I will be okay.