Timeline: August 1996. I walked into my first classroom (not counting student teaching). Bulletin boards were up, my desk was organized, my lesson plans were made, and I was nervous. I was filled with exhilaration and fear. Would I be good at this? Would the students pay attention? Would they learn? My fingers shook as I wrote my name on the board in anticipation of the students coming in. I had to erase my own name three times, at least, until it looked like an educated adult had written it. The bell rang, and students came into my classroom. Thus began the first day.
Fast forward eighteen years to August 2014. I walked into my new classroom. Bulletin boards were up, my desk was organized, my lesson plans were made, copies of my syllabus sat, stacked, ready for distribution. I was anxious and eager. I wondered if I were any good at this, whether my students would pay attention, and, most of all, if they would learn. Eighteen years later, and I still had to rewrite the information on the board several times before I was satisfied with how it looked. The bell rang, and students came into my classroom. Thus began the first day.
I have changed since I first started teaching, but I still have that thrill of nerves as I begin the year. I am more confident in my abilities. I use technology that didn't even exist when I started. I have grown in knowledge. My classroom management style has matured throughout the years. I'm a better facilitator, leader, and teacher. My teacher tool bag has grown, filled with tools gained at conferences, trainings, and loads of professional development hours.
Time has flown, and I hope that my skill set has grown with the years. My education philosophy of building cathedrals or searching for ponies has grown out of my experiences. I pray that I have become more adept at my calling. That's not to say I still don't have bad days when I am little more than a worker piling bricks or shoveling poo. I just have to continue to work with the knowledge that my Audience is more than my students, my peers, my administration, or even my community. If I can keep moving further up and in to the goal set before me, I hope to hear my Master say, "Well Done."