Friday, June 5, 2009

Rookie No More...

(The ghetto blinds snapped while another teacher used my room. Don't hate.)

In case you didn't notice, I'm a teacher. This whole "Rookie" business came about at this blog's beginnings as a very nervous, overwhelmed, and uncertain new teacher sat in front of a keyboard and started typing about her new life out of college. Her new life in adulthood. Her new life as a teacher. Her transitions, her lessons, her learning.

I taught my last classes of the year today. The final bell rang. We have two days of activities next week, but no classes. I've been counting down. I've spent the week packing, sorting, moving piece by piece of the previous three years into a new location. As I sat here facing my hollow classroom (hollow except the filing--MERCY how I want to avoid the past nine months' filing), I grew strangely emotional. Weird-emotional. Crying quietly in my emptied cage-like office emotional. I'm only moving up one floor. To a better room. I'll still be teaching for a long while. But something has brushed over me that feels a bit tingly and odd.

In the beginning I said to myself: Three years. Try it for three years and then re-assess. Well, today my three years are up. I have completed my third official year (nevermind that 3 1/2 month stint of take-over hell). I'm no longer a rookie at this. My new city feels more like home than my old city. My parent's house feels different and distant. The "teacher" title has meshed into my identity and the "student" identity I once held so tight feels far, far away. With co-workers I no longer feel like one of their students, I can call them by their first name AND disagree with them professionally. I've gained some clout; it's okay now. And my student loans are...well the good thing about student loans is that they will always remind one of past lifetimes.

I can sit here with the extra stress-pounds, the sorer feet, and know that I survived it. I made it through one of those really chaotic, confusing, disorienting life steps. I wouldn't call myself a great teacher. Maybe a novice, at best. But I'm no longer a rookie. This hollow classroom where I began this journey is officially a place in my past.

And just in case you didn't believe me and my filing woes, know this isn't the only surface that looks like this in my classroom.


Alice said...

Ahh Rookie I like this post. It made me feel a little emotional? (totally emeshed, I know) I am so proud of you and all the you have accomplished and put up with for the past three and a half years. I know you are an excellent teacher and many a student are lucky to have you. Congrats on completing "your trial period". Teacher fits you.

So enjoy the crap out of the I-am-a-teacher-so-I-don't-work-in-the-summer without any annoying teenagers rolling their eyes!

SCHOOL IS OUT! (well almost) Yahoo!

Willis Family said...

Where did the time go...I really don't feel older, but I have realized how young the high schoolers look and it makes me feel old.

Congrats on surviving it....I mean making it.


Jen said...

Bona fide awesomeness, that is what you have achieved.

Lisa S said...

Congratulations on finishing out three years. Keep up the good work. Lisa

Miss Melissa Bee said...

Oh how I hate filing!!! I'm sad they do not provide a filing clerk for teachers. Sigh... I'm glad you survived your rookie years. Maybe you can help me when I start. Part of me can't wait to get into my classroom; part of me wants to throw up!

silvernic said...

Next step: paperless classroom!
You're the awesomestest teacher ever!

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I would help with the filing if I were around. I, oddly enough, like to file. Call me crazy. I think I would be especially good at it right now, since I ain't mov'in anywheres. I am proud of you for reaching that three year goal. Here's to the future!