I’m headed into my fifth year at my job. For the first time during this week of opening meetings and training sessions, I don’t feel new. I’m not sure why, though I have a working theory. I think this year we reached a tipping point where there are as many people who are newer to the school than I am as there are those that have been here longer. Newer people ask me questions about things in ways that they didn’t before. And I actually have answers. I know the history of some stuff and can explain it. On the other hand, a lot of the legacy things (especially in the technology area) that I was dealing with have been replaced with systems I’ve put into place. The program I was hired to build is now nearly fully formed and thriving. Advisors, college counselors and division directors now recommend my courses rather than having no idea about their existence. 4 years ago when I offered my first intro to CS course, I had 7 students. They’ve all now graduated. My Intro course this year has 29 students in it (I gained another yesterday!). My upper level courses have a total of about 25 students in them. Students want to take my courses, which is super cool. And this year, the 8th graders I started with as an advisor and teacher will graduate. This graduating class will be the first class where I know almost everyone and had almost everyone as a student.
But there are still things that are new. I have new department members, with an actual department. Woo hoo. We have a new middle school program. I have two new classes to teach this year. I’m planning to add another new class next year. And even in my “old” classes, I’ve changed things up and brought in new things.
And I still love the job as if it were new. I’m someone who thrives on change. I almost think you have to in order to be in my field. Even if the only change is fresh new faces in the classroom, I need something to be different every year. I’m looking forward to facing this year as someone who’s “been there done that” but who still hasn’t seen it all!