New year nerves.

I have a confession to make.

I am nervous about this year. Like, really nervous. Teacher-dreams, stomach-tension, don’t-wanna-talk-about-it jittery nervous.

What if I can’t handle eighth graders? Sure, I did some student teaching in 8th grade – but my CT had really set everything up and while I had to prove myself to some extent, maybe they just treated me with respect because they liked her.

What if the kids I had in the past are completely different now than they were in 6th grade? What if they are nightmares? Yep, still saw them around the school last year, but in class is a whole different thing.

What if I can’t run a workshop effectively? I really want to try it – it sounds so empowering and engaging for kids – but what if I can’t handle the giving up of control and finding ways to get kids engaged in their learning? Self-direction and choice are great…if they choose and direct.

What if I’ve taken on too much? A new curriculum and grade level, three different leadership teams (one of which I’m really going to be spending a lot of time on, I think), running the school newspaper, an ongoing professional development opportunity….it’s a lot. Can I handle it all without something being done badly? Without several things being done badly?

I think part of my problem is that I haven’t gotten to sit down with my planning partner to figure out how this is all going to look. Nor have I heard back from my principal about our department planning day that we’re supposed to be having. Plus the whole mess with the Charmer sort of discouraged me – perhaps I CAN’T create relationships with kids who are older than sixth grade. I don’t really believe that, but it was a downer.

Today I’m going to sit down with my pals The Writing Workshop and Study Driven and have a heart-to-heart so that I have a better vision of the process and can start working on mentor texts. I’ve emailed and texted people about setting up meetings – if I don’t hear back, that’s on them and I’ll plan by myself. They’ll just have to live with the results. And if I decide I’m doing too much, well, I can always drop a committee or something. Plus who needs sleep anyway?

It’s going to be fine, right? Please tell me it’s going to be fine.

(Poor little turtle. At least HE has a shell... Photo credit to bionicteaching)


laniza said...

I'm a new reader to your blog and I can definitely commiserate with you. You get all my respect for attempting to deal with 8th graders. Most of the 8th graders I've come across are soooo obnoxious, haha! Anyways, best of luck :)

teachin' said...

Hey Laniza - thanks for reading and commenting! And yes, they are obnoxious but I kinda love that about them, because it means I can be obnoxious back without feeling TOO bad about it. :) I'm feeling a little better after reading a whole bunch, but BOY those first day of school jitters are starting early! I wonder if it'll always be like this or if it changes as one gets more experienced?

OKP said...

It WILL be fine. Learn to delegate, take time for yourself, and forgive yourself...there will ALWAYS be work to do.

Your change sounds so much more challenging than mine, but as I make my mental list of change (new prep, senior project committee, assistant dept. chair), I realize I'm right there with you!

Keep blogging!

teachin' said...

Thanks OKP! The blogging definitely helps - I love the community of it all. Plus I like to tell stories, so this is a good venue for that. :) I will remember your advice when I'm feeling like hiding under the bed for days at a time.

"I'm a dreamer but I ain't the only one Got problems but we love to have fun" -K'naan, "Dreamer"

I teach eighth grade Language Arts at an urban school. My kids kick ass and will change the world. I want everyone to know.
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