The ironic thing about taking on this high school teaching job last January was how much time I spent being a student. Before I could do anything in the classroom, I had to prepare for (and pass!) an art subject matter exam.
Then I was thrown into the confusing world of grading and attendance software and managing courses in Google classroom. Then! I had to learn how to use Adobe Illustrator – because I was supposed to be teaching it halfway through the semester!
After that, I had to go through and make all the projects that the previous teacher had created as assignments so that I would understand what I was supposed to be teaching my students. There were so many moments in this past semester when I was running solely on caffeine and flying by the seat of my pants. Not knowing was uncomfortable, especially because I was expected to stand in front of the classroom and teach it.
It was a huge lesson in humility and grace and I am so thankful that my students were understanding when I had to say “I don’t know, but let’s find out.” I also think it was a necessary step in the process. Not knowing allowed me to stay eager and creative. It forced me to stay disciplined in my learning.
And by taking the time to do all the projects it helped me preempt any questions or problems that my students might have. I could show them my mistakes and hopefully they could learn from them.
And knowing that they didn’t have to be perfect – that they could mess up and try again – could maybe even translate into other parts of their life, too. I’m already excited about what the next semester has in store since I agreed to stay on for another year.
Forever the student – Angie