On Teaching without Fear and Anxiety

I am 20 days in at my job as a 4th grade teacher and I have had an epiphany: I need to let go of my fear and anxiety.

This is my second year starting as a teacher after the school year begins. Last year was my first year teaching and it, too, began about a month after school began. On the best day, when all the ducks are in a row, a teacher’s job is never done and her best efforts could always be improved. So, each year I have set myself up for painful disappointment when I try to lift the globe like Atlas with baby arms. My gracious principal told me that my job this year was to survive. She wasn’t telling me to aim low, but I think she recognized the enormity of the task weighed against the reality of the limits.

Now I am responsible for 23 souls whose previous teacher was chronically absent thereby depriving them of the content they were supposed to learn the first 9 weeks of school. The kids are sweethearts, but they weren’t used to much structure until the math and literacy coaches came in some weeks before I started to implement quality instruction and routines, albeit, sporadically because they weren’t the teacher. The majority of the students’ parents are spanish speaking so I need a translator when I call home. I haven’t created a newsletter or website yet because of this language barrier. No time to think about ways to overcome this…but next year… Two weeks ago, I got a new student so now I am at 24.

I am up to this task and challenge. Not living without balance…coming in early and leaving late….eating, sleeping, eating all things school. I can’t do that anymore because it is not sustainable…not fair to me…my family…my students. We have built a nurturing learning community and it is all coming together.  I want to teach without fear…fear that I am not doing things right…anxious because something didn’t get done. Yesterday I shed all my fear and anxiety and just taught. I was amazing!

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2 thoughts on “On Teaching without Fear and Anxiety

  1. I completely understand! I’m exactly the same! I’m just a teacher in training, more like an assistant but doing one lesson is hard enough, and im nervous to even do that! wish me luck! and good luck to you for the next couple of months!

    1. I wish you great mentors and support people. You can do it! Keep showing up every day and bringing what you uniquely have to bring to your students and the world!

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