In my graduate class, we are learning about teaching Writing. One of our assignments was to write about our first day of teaching, ever. For me, it wasn't that long ago (it's only been two and a half years). The first day of teaching, for someone who is a career teacher is a big moment. Anyway, it does seem like such a long time ago now! This is the piece I wrote about the beginning of my teaching career.
At 6pm, the night before I started my first job as a teacher, the first flood came. This one was in my classroom. Looking around a classroom that would soon be filled with fifth graders, I was panicking because I realized that I didn’t have a clue how to handle all this responsibility on my own. I was barely twenty-two. I still lived with my Mom, and I knew that I was definitely in over my head. So, there I sat, in a flood of my own tears, in my classroom. I was just out of sorts.
At 8pm, the night before I started my first day as a teacher, the second flood came. This was a flood that literally seeped in through the bottom of my tiny closet and put two inches of water on my floor! A pipe had busted in the laundry room which backed up to my bedroom. All of my clothes were covered in dirty water. I salvaged whatever I could, packed it all in a suitcase, and went to stay with my grandparents until we could get all that water out of my bedroom. I was a refugee.
At midnight, on my first day as a teacher, my cell phone rang. It was my ex-boyfriend from college “Where are we?” he wanted to know.
“I don’t know where you are, but I am in a flood!” I answered. I hung up shortly, but I couldn’t really sleep in a strange bed when I was distracted by this call. I was tired, but I couldn’t sleep.
At 6am, my alarm clock rang. I was an out of sorts, tired, little refugee; but I was a teacher!