This is the first back-to-school week when I'm not getting my own classroom ready. This is the first year I haven't taught first grade. I've switched to teaching Special Education, K-1. Ever since I was in high school I've wanted to teach special ed and it's what I assumed I would do all through college. Teaching special ed was the reason I got into teaching. Now that it's here it's intimidating. What if it's not for me?
The last 2 years I've had an inclusion class with high needs and interesting case loads. I've sat in on many IEPs, Re-Evals, paperwork, parent meetings, etc. I've picked special educators' brains about everything they do. I've researched many details on my kiddos' needs and worked hard to learn how to help them. Yet now I feel 100% unprepared.
It brings back memories of my first year teaching. I'd forgotten that unsettling feeling in your stomach that you could be working on something for hours and do it wrong. You can sit in on meetings and have no idea what any of the acronyms mean and wonder if you should ask now or look them up later. It takes you 5 times the time to get something done than it does your peers.
Yet I'm really enjoying it so far. I loved teaching first grade, and will probably still love it if I do it again, but I am thrilled to be doing something new. I'm surprised at how much I'm enjoying the unsettling feeling of being wrong and trying something new. I wake up excited to go to work to learn how to do my job better. I'm ready for new, different experiences.
However, it's only 4 days in. With many more to go we'll see how long the excitement lasts.