I think something that was under-sold to me as a beginning teacher is the need to find your voice as an educator. I would look at other teachers and think that they had it all figured out and I wished I could be more like them. This school year has been a wakeup call for me in a lot of ways because I have to relearn everything I knew about school operations and at the same time learn a completely new content. Throw on top that I have never been in a tested subject before and it has been quite a whirlwind for me. Throughout this year I have learned the importance of teaching style and working alongside people who think differently than you do.
Until this year I have never taught early US history in my life. As I reflect, I know that I have taken this course before, but I can’t really remember when. I have helped with tutoring for state testing before this year, but other than that I have little recollection of what happened in US history. I knew that I could probably create all the curriculum I would need on my own, but that seemed like a lot of trial and error along the way. The other team for my grade has a very good US history teacher so why would I not learn from her?
As the year has progressed, I’ve found myself less and less enthusiastic about the content that I’m teaching. At first I really couldn’t understand why that was, but as I reflected more I found that it was because I was teaching through my co-worker’s voice and not my own. In this case, it’s completely necessary for me to learn from her and do some similar things in my classroom, but I don’t know that our rooms will ever be carbon copies ever again.