I realize I haven’t been keeping up with my blog lately (boo!) I am hoping to do at least 2 blog posts a week from this point forward.
Lately I have been doing quite a bit of planning. I kind of going on spurts of being amazingly productive and then when the sun comes out I go on the pontoon and procrastinate. The past week or so I have been taking books with me to read. Right now I am reading “Teach Like a Pirate” by Dave Burgess again to pump me up for the semester! I highly recommend the book to any teacher who needs a little inspiration for their classroom and get their creative juices flowing. I have actually noticed that a few of my activities in my UbD units have improved after reading it –dat creative process!
I have to say, at this point, I am not nervous for my first year of teaching. I feel pretty prepared in terms of planning. Currently I am working on a UbD unit for my Creative Writing 20 course and it is going well despite the pontoon boat that calls to me. I also have one of my year plans done but have decided to focus on my UbD’s for the moment, as I can quickly adapt them to be year plans.
I know some of my teacher friends are starting to really stress out about the upcoming semester. And there are definitely things I am worried about, namely my classroom environment. I am still unsure how I want to set up the desks, what I want to put up on the walls, how to create a reading environment. I want my classroom to feel really welcoming to students that walk in. I am going to get some plants for my room I think although I usually have a black thumb for that kind of thing. Despite these uncertainties, I am not freaking out about next year at all.
My dad once gave me a piece of advice that changed my life: Don’t stress about things you can’t change. Being a typical teenager, these words annoyed me and I disregarded his advice. Time and time again I would come to him for advice and he would simply say “Well you can’t change the outcome, so why are you spending time worrying about it?” It took me a really long time to finally put those words into practice and it has completely changed my outlook on life. Every single time something happens that is stressful I ask myself, “Do I have the power to change this?” If the answer is no, I stop worrying about it. And yes, it usually ends up working itself out. If the answer is yes I can change it, I try to come up with steps to do so that are not overwhelming. The habit of doing this took me years to master and sometimes I still have slip-ups but it has completely changed my life.
I am not naive to the fact I will be stressed out during the semester and have many failures this year. But why spend time worrying about that now? I can’t change what is going to happen in the future. I can deal with things in the present. And that is exactly what I am going to do.
Seneca said it best: “
“Plus dolet quam necesse est qui ante dolet quam necesse est.”
(He who worries before it is necessary worries more than is necessary.)
To the first year teachers out there: We got this.