I Feel Like a First-Year Teacher.
Author: Aubrey Yeh
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This week, I came to a realization:
I feel like a first-year teacher again.
It shouldn’t be surprising, right? I am just over four months into my first administrative job. I am a first-year administrator. But somehow, that never hit me until this week.
I’ve been reflecting on how there are so many areas that I want to grow in. I feel like I am handling situations clumsily – I am not clueless, but I lack finesse and touch. My bag of tricks is small. I have to put a lot of thought and energy into each situation. Meanwhile, I watch others who have been doing this for years handle things with grace, seemingly effortlessly, and I wish I could get there!
Here’s the thing I have to remember:
Do you remember your first year of teaching? How did you handle things that came up then? Classroom management issues, parent communication, expectations from administrators…I know that the way I dealt with these things as a new teacher is definitely not how I dealt with them five years down the road. We all learn and grow; experience is a great teacher! No matter how well-prepared you are, there is a lot that had to be learned just through doing it. The perfectionist in me wants to figure it all out right now…but I can’t. And that’s okay.
I am at the very beginning of the learning curve right now, where learning is steep. Rather than being discouraging, it’s actually empowering to know that, five years from now, I will be in a much different place. I’ve been through this before as a teacher; now it’s time to go through this as an administrator. I won’t handle everything in the best way, but I will ask for grace and learn and grow a little bit every day!
As I seek to grow, I’m thankful for so many people who are helping mentor me along the way. This week, I’ve been challenged and inspired in conversations with Austin Houp, my Google Innovator mentor, Amy Illingworth, a PLN friend-of-a-friend, and several people in my district. I’m grateful that I can reach out and find a community around me who accepts me where I am and pushes me to go further. That’s what I want!
I’ll leave you with two thoughts:
1. If you are in a new job or new situation, it’s okay to not be an expert right away. Take a deep breath, learn, grow, and have grace with yourself through the process.
2. If you are an experienced administrator, leader, or coach, what resources would you share to help someone who is just starting out?
Thanks for following my journey, blog-friends!