A Day in the Life of a First-Year Teacher

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

And Year 3 Comes to a Close!

I can't believe I'm saying this, but tomorrow is the end of my 3rd year of teaching in the NYC Department of Education and at my middle school in the South Bronx. So much has happened this year and it was truly eye-opening to see how much each of my students have grown academically (in terms of their math skills), socially and interpersonally throughout the past ten months. 

I've become so close to many of my students and it's evident  how much they trust me when they beg me to be their teacher next year (at all of the different high schools across NYC that they will be going to!) and throughout the year when they seek my counsel, ask about my personal life and open up to me about their personal lives. My students helped me validate all of the reasons that I chose to become a inner-city math teacher and it is truly sad to have to say goodbye to my amazing 8th graders. 

The end of the year is always an exciting time, from school pep rallies to the annual field day to "senior" trip to "senior" prom to "graduation"... and it brings true closure to a year of hard work and dedication. For teachers this year in NY, this year has not been without struggles. As Common Core has fully kicked into effect in the DOE, the stress and pressure are on for NYC teachers, principals, STUDENTS and parents. 

All in all, I couldn't have asked for better colleagues or better students. Good luck in high school to all of my students in Room 203!! 

As for me next year, I will be a (newly tenured!) Lead Teacher at my school. That means that I will not be teaching 5 classes a day, but rather 3. The two teaching periods that I have been relieved from will be used to work with other math teachers at my school and share my expertise with them in an effort to improve teaching practices across the board at my school's math department. This is bittersweet for me, as I am certainly in awe of how much of an expanded, albeit indirect, difference I can make in all of my school's students and I definitely love the additional $10,925 (plus the raise & hard-to-staff school differential earned from the new contract) provided by the position, but I know I will miss teaching for the full day and I will miss being able to make a large direct impact on the lives of my students. Because I am teaching only 3 courses, I will be splitting the honors-level Integrated Algebra course with another teacher, I will take 1 section & he/she will take the other 2 sections (I find out tomorrow!). The remaining 2 sections will be 8th grade math. 

AND I AM SO READY FOR SUMMER -- already bought my tickets for Toronto and Barcelona/Madrid! (The Toronto trip is with my roomies!!!!, the Spain trip is for personal time)