Posted on | January 2, 2013 | 2 Comments
Let’s say you catch a fish. We’ll designate this particular fish as being a westslope cutthroat trout (as seen in the photo) because I am a trout fanatic and they are beautiful fish, but it really doesn’t matter what kind of fish you’re seeing in your head. You’ve caught it. It’s a mature fish. It’s spent a good deal of its life in the water.
Now, suddenly, it is out of water. You quickly slip it into a nice pair of pants or slacks, a clean shirt or blouse, nice shoes, and just the right amount of personal care products to make it into a respectable-looking fish, but not overdone. Then you rush that fish to a nearby elementary school; prop it up in front of a classroom full of anxious, curious students; show it the curriculum, the teacher’s editions and guides, the class roster, and the handbooks. Then you leave.
Good luck, Trout.
Does that scenario remind you at all of your first experience in the classroom? Even if that fish had spent a year or more down in a quiet spot in the river, studying, preparing, and student-teaching in a nearby school, can’t you still see the shell-shocked expression on its gills?
I’ve been thinking about what I wish I had known heading into my first classroom and the great advice I got from my teacher-mentors in those first months. What do you wish you had known before that first day? And what great advice do you have for new teachers as they return from break in the new year?