Today was an interesting day to have this topic, as we’ve had about 6 inches of rain fall so far. I thought about a lot of images related to the weather, including Fritz in his raincoat. But in the end I went with the jacket I wore today and a story below it.
This jacket holds a very special place in my heart. I’m not really a material person, but this thing has a lot of memories tied to it. Twelve years ago, I had just started my new career as a middle school teacher. If you have never been a teacher, or have never lived with a first year teacher, you have no idea how much work that first year (or two, really) is. In addition to learning curriculums and learning to handle a million adolescent hormones raging around you every minute of the day, you have at least 4 observations during the year. Sounds reasonable enough, if you would be willing to have your boss and senior managers watch you perform your job for an hour and then sit and listen to them critique every detail, an then put a written report into your personal file.
Yeah, it’s a little stressful.
I was fortunate in my first year, though, that I had a great principal, a knowledgeable Special Ed team leader, and a dedicated new teacher mentor. Also, the kids were pretty good that year. Still, you really have to do an entire dog and pony show, impressing with your depth of knowledge while dazzling with your natural-born teaching ability. No matter how good you are, it’s exhausting.
On the morning of my first observation, I passed my mentor in the hallway. Her words of advice to me were, buy yourself something nice. It doesn’t matter how it goes, what matters is how much work you put into it, and whether every piece of the lesson soars, or there are moments of agony, you’ve worked hard to get ready and you should reward yourself.
It turned out to be a good day, because I created and delivered a fantastic lesson on Greek Mythology, and I bought a leather jacket.