My First Day As a Teacher
By Nancy Mikhail
As a new Kindergarten teacher at a small private school, I walked into my classroom on a hot summer day to begin organizing my room. I had so many questions…wondering what I’ll teach, how I’ll teach, the personalities of my students? I started sifting through the resources in the room, while these questions were meandering through my mind, when a parent (also heavily involved with the school) walks into my room. She tells me that I may use any of the resources I’d like as long as I abide by the standards. Sounds like a teacher’s dream, right? This was a great challenge for me seeing as how this was my very first year teaching and I was not familiar with Kindergarten nor did I know where to start.
Fortunately, I had a couple of mentors to guide me through the year and I made it! With my mentor’s help and a lot of self-learning, I learned how to create a curriculum map, organize my resources and lesson plans, and begin to differentiate instruction.
Since then, I wouldn’t teach any other way. I love the freedom to create meaningful projects that allowed me to differentiate for my students, assign worthwhile activities instead of busy work, and send home homework that was meant to make students think, rather than have them (for example) repeat writing a word 10 times.
Without the help of my mentors, I may not have been as successful. This is what I now offer to new and experienced teachers; guidance, support, and encouragement to overcome those obstacles teachers face – whether it be an immediate hurdle to overcome, or a long-term one. Helping teachers learn new ideas, technology, and innovative practices to help their students achieve their greatest potential.
(Photo: My Kindergarteners in centers)