Monday, August 27, 2012

Second year, second day one.

Day one: done. Exhausted, but probably not as exhausted as last year.

This year: August 27, 2012
Last year: August 29, 2011
I purposely tried to stand in the same pose / location as last year, but I did not purposely wear almost the very same outfit. Oops. Guess my early-morning-closet-scan yields similar results, under similar circumstances. And look at that tan ("tan")! Evidence that I actually made it out of my apartment this summer, instead of spending hours upon hours of frantically preparing for my first year.

Things that feel really good:

Marveling at how kids grow, both physically and emotionally.
It is so awesome to know the majority of my returning students. As I've mentioned before, I teach at a huge school with two specialists in art, music, P.E. So while I do not get to have all the same kiddos as last year, I still feel like I know the majority, and I'm truly excited about getting to know the students I didn't have last year. It's such a boost to see my returning students remembering and reflecting on my art room rules, routines, and expectations. They're definitely helping me to set the tone for the new and new-to-me students. And everyone is bigger and more mature! It's my first experience seeing this leap in growth (in all ways) from June to August. I'm definitely reflecting on where my students were last August compared to this August. It's surprisingly emotional to see the students that I first met as kindergarteners (they were brand new, I was brand new-- if I stay at my same school, they will be the first round of students that I learn with and teach with through their whole K-5 cycle). They're these confident first graders now! Sniff sniff, they grow up so fast!

Having a better understanding of my school's population.
The elementary school I taught in during student teaching had an entirely different population, so I had some assumptions about (all) students (everywhere) that were incorrect. My current students need a little more than those students did, which makes me want to work even harder to provide all that they do need. But because I didn't know my population at the beginning of last year, I was a bit stingy (not intentionally) with many essentials: structure, discipline, thorough, clear, decisive teaching, and unconditional love love love.

Not being the newbie.
Not being the newbie is a double-edged sword. On one hand, I absolutely love it. I could move through pre-service week so much faster. I didn't have to attend a myriad of new teacher meetings and trainings on top of the mandatory meetings and trainings. My classroom set-up was easier because I knew how and where to locate materials throughout the building and in my own classroom and closet (which I spent all year rearranging and making my own, down to the storage closet and cabinets, which are now in much better shape than I found them in last year). The obvious downside to not being a newbie: no more excuses. And that's probably healthy and appropriate :)

My MAEA proposal was picked up.
More on this later... completely flattered and proud that my proposal was accepted... but am simultaneously terrified at the prospect of public speaking. Have been wondering why someone who is terrified of speaking in front of crowds (me) has decided to do just that... ?

In closing, here's a picture of a painting of a donut that I found in my apron pocket. It then lived in my purse for a week:

Made by Indigo.

I absolutely love finding reminders of teaching in my personal belongings and on my person, particularly after hours and away from school. Distracting bracelets left on my wrist, paintings in my pocket, beads in the bottom of my purse.
It's all in the small joys :)


  1. Isn't it nice to be in the same school? My husband was active duty military, so I have taught in quite a few places for only one year. I was so excited to start this year. My school isn't as large, so I have mostly the same kids.

    I am presenting at my state conference for the first time this year. I am afraid that I will not be able to enjoy the rest of the conference due to nerves.

    1. It is SO nice to be returning to the same school. I can't imagine bumping around from year to year... you are amazing for being able to handle so many transitions.

      I completely feel you on the nerves bit... I too will be entirely focused on my presentation! I highly doubt I'll absorb any new info that day... will just be lucky to get through it. Good luck!

  2. Who took your picture this year? Sorry I wasn't there!

    1. A colleague. You better be there next year! :P

  3. I have been blessed to teach in the same district for 24 years(this is 25!). I love that I get to see the kids grow up from K-5th grade! Oh how they change! I know all their personalities, how they work, what their situation is and it all makes teaching them a lot easier. I (and a couple of other special subject teachers) am the familiar face they are happy to see when entering the 3-5 school for the first time with first day jitters. Two of my colleagues are former students of mine and I have students that are children of past students! Jeez! I have been around a long time! Enjoy your school year! :)

    1. Aw, Mrs. C! I aspire to be in your position one day! So cool, I love it.

  4. Come on, you're a teacher! You speak in front of crowds EVERY DAY! On. Difference is their height. I've been teaching workshops at my state conference every year for a long time, and this year am presenting THREE workshops. (Insane, I know.). If you are well prepared you will e well received and find yourself with 'groupies' who will look for your workshops every year. You'll meet a ton of people and make lasting friendships. DON'T WORRY!!!

    1. But speaking in front of kids feels SO different from speaking in front of adults! Thanks for the encouragement and coaxing, Phyl. Groupies?! That will be the day! I gotta take this one year at a time :) Stay tuned... I might (should) be in touch with you soon... my topic is about art ed blogging communities. Apparently I think I can become an authority on the subject (?!?!). We'll see...

  5. Damn autocorrect. ONLY difference is their height.