Note: I wrote this post before my first two training days, but now that I've gone I feel a bit better. Training has helped me remember that no one expects me to be perfect immediately (or ever) and that I have an entire team of people who can offer support when I need it. But, some of my fears still exist...so I'm still publishing this post.
I began training for my new job this week. From Tuesday to Friday, I'm learning about what's on my plate for this upcoming school year. Beginning July 25, I'll be officially training new teachers. And right now, I'm scared.
I'm scared my students won't have a socially conscious teacher who will openly discuss politics with them. I don't force my views on students; we discuss, question, analyze, and wonder. We come to mutual understandings. They have learned in my class that privilege exists, that racism and sexism exist, that to embrace other's differences is an obligation we all have, and that we must not give up fighting for equality.
Especially in the current political climate, I worry.
I'm scared my students won't get all they deserve out of the Holocaust unit this year, because I won't be there to answer the hard questions and give them knowledge that goes beyond our classroom materials.
I'm scared my students won't ever learn to LOVE writing in any capacity. That they'll brush off poetry; that they'll feel censored when they write fiction. That the new teacher will follow the curriculum map TOO faithfully and miss out on some of the organic moments where true, meaningful learning and growing happens.
I'm scared my students won't have a teacher they can trust. Someone they can truly be open with about fears and stress. Someone who takes them seriously as young adults, not just children.
I told Matt, after I'd been offered this new job, that I know I'm an awesome teacher; I'm great at my job, and I fear I may be doing a disservice to this upcoming class of 8th graders because they'll have someone else. Our other teachers are fantastic but it's hard to give up control, you know?
And I know that I'll be able to take it one day at a time and figure things out and acclimate quickly - I'm truly a fast learner - but I can't seem to stop myself from worrying. I just really want to do my best and be as helpful and useful as possible.
So wish me luck, guys...because this week is the start of my next big adventure and the first time I'll be doing something new in the seven years I've been at my school.
Any words of wisdom or advice?
How do you overcome fear?