I just had a GREAT discussion with the other language teachers at my school, and I am feeling renewedly (I know that's not a word) excited about teaching! See, 'cause here's the thing - it's hard to find a balance between all the different aspects of teaching. Plus life. :) I LOVE interacting with my students - they are hysterical, and I think I have a pretty good rapport with them. I enjoy the time that I get to spend facilitating their learning. I even don't completely HATE the time I have to spend grading the assignments that I give them. :) And I am absolutely FANATICAL about updating and storing my lessons plans after I teach every day. These little things I can do.
But I'm feeling that I'm NOT so good at having an overall teaching plan / curriculum and making sure that everything I do fits into that plan. I feel like it's hard enough to grade all their papers and make sure they have something reasonably effective to do in the classroom each day - the thought of taking MORE time to develop my overall grand-scheme long term plan and make sure it fits in with the district, state, and national standards is EXHAUSTING and makes me want to DIE. And as I type this, and LIVE this, I KNOW that it's DUMB DUMB DUMB to go day-to-day, teaching "stuff" and not knowing how - or even IF!! - it's going to get my students to where I want them to be by the end of the day / unit / year. So I struggle.
But during our discussion today I got to see a little bit more from the perspectives of these other two teachers at my school, and now I feel better. I think I "get" a little better now that we are all just doing the best that we can, and that my "best" will keep getting better. I made a statement comparing myself to a French teacher in the district who is SO organized and seems to be SUCH a good teacher, and one of my colleagues said, "And how long has SHE been teaching?" Ok, good point. :) I'm in my FIRST YEAR. I haven't even taught my whole curriculum ONCE yet! So it's ok that I don't have perfectly sculpted lesson plans and flawless speaking tests and exciting culture units yet! But I CAN start NOW to WORK to be excellent! There is more that I CAN do than what I AM doing, and I saw a few of those things today, and was reminded that I KNOW that teaching is a learning process. Thank goodness! :) And, ya know, go team!