I’m not new anymore

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!

3 Replies to “I’m not new anymore”

  1. I’ve read your blog for a while now, including back in the days when you were struggling with figuring out what you wanted to do. It’s so great that you have found your niche.

    I think the best teachers are the ones who thrive on change, who see every new year as a new opportunity and every crop of students as a new puzzle to solve. If by the 10th year or the 20th, a teacher starts to feel like the students are all the same (they are not), it’s probably a signal that something isn’t right.

  2. Thanks, bj. One of the reasons I left higher ed (as you might remember), was the lack of focus on teaching. That was the part that I liked the most though I think the shift to K-12 was also good for the age group. I’m much more at home with younger kids.

  3. YAY!! I think it’s so great that you feel that way, I’m very very happy for you. Maybe one day I’ll be at peace and feel “old” even at wherever I am. Maybe. For now I’m just happy to feel “whole” and not broken down as I wrote in my latest post… I don’t think that in my area high school teaching would work (I mean, it WOULD if there was a private school where I could teach world lit) and I often wonder what other alternatives I could have… sigh…

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