It’s already mid-July, which means that summer is moving by too quickly! In less than a month and a half I will be back in the classroom, prepping for 175 fresh new faces in my classroom. Each year I look forward to setting up my classroom so that it is organized, comfortable, and welcoming. In August I will begin my 10th year in the classroom and I couldn’t be more excited. I love teaching. I love learning. And I love that I have the opportunity to spark a passion for science in the hearts of my students.
So let’s take a moment and pay homage to my FIRST classroom.
August 2012 would bring so many different emotions. I was a brand new teacher, fresh out of college. I had never stood in front of a class and taught a lesson and here I was less than a month a way from being entrusted with teaching Biology to 150+ ninth graders. I was eager and scared all at the same time. I will never forget the day when I received the keys to my very first classroom. When I unlocked that door and looked upon the blank walls, I remember being in awe of the fact that this was MY classroom. It was a surreal moment. I couldn’t wait to being setting up and preparing for the arrival of my first group of students!
The next stop was the local teacher supply store. Mind you at this point I hadn’t received a paycheck and we were basically surviving on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, so I was on a very TIGHT budget. I picked out things that made me happy and I thought would make my room not only a reflection of me as a teacher but also what I wanted my students to take away from our year together. I sought out items with lots of color and used butcher paper to cover large portions of the stark white walls.
Overall, my first classroom was perfect for my first year. That first year was truly a learning experience. I may have taught Biology but I sure learned a lot about what it takes to be an effective teacher. I have sinced moved classrooms and my room looks very different these days (you live and you learn…a vocabulary wall seriously…I can never manage to keep up with it!) While some things stay the same others change. I hope that I never feel complacent. That I always want to grow as a teacher. My classroom is an outward example of how I’ve changed and grown over the last 10 years in education. Change in my students from the first day to the last day, change in my lessons from teacher centered to student centered, and change in me as I strive to always bring something fresh and new with each new group of students.
I hope that as you prepare your classrooms for this upcoming school year that you reflect back to where you started and where you are now. May you always be searching for a way to be better and never settle for good enough.