Back-to-school Jitters

Teazanne (Maryann) sent in the winning entry for the September 2011 Monthly Contest at Keen Tea Thyme and scored two pouches of free tea - Toasted Marshmallow and Autumn's Walk.

Her winning entry is below:

I always loved back-to-school time as a kid, shopping for school supplies (and new clothes!) and getting set for a new school year. It's no surprise, then, that I opted to become a teacher when I grew up. After earning a Masters in Early Childhood Education, I taught kindergarten for several years. I enjoyed the kids, and let's face it, kindergarten is pretty fun! But I decided to expand my horizon and teach "older" kids - fifth grade. I went back to college for a few "refresher" classes on teaching, and while I didn't earn another degree, I did feel confident I would be a terrific fifth grade teacher.

I made sure I had fresh supplies - lots of construction paper, stickers, posters, glue, crayons...and then I panicked. What was I doing?! Fifth graders are nothing like kindergarteners! I didn't even know how to dress; normally I wore pants and a shirt that I wouldn't mind getting fingerpaint on, or construction paper stuck to. But what to wear for the older kids? I opted for a nice pair of khakis and a button-down shirt - so I still looked like a "fun" teacher, but also one with authority.

The first kids started walking in and sitting down. "We have assigned seats? Man!" They said. I thought quickly, what's the harm? I could take away the name tags...but I stopped myself. I was a their teacher and I wanted assigned seats until I learned their names. I could do that. I was their teacher.

The rest of the class filed in, and once the bell rang I said hello to my new students and introduced myself. "I'm new to fifth grade, just like you guys, so let's take some time to introduce ourselves." I learned about summer vacations, family pets, favorite sports teams and players, and what these - no, my - fifth graders liked to do for fun.

We laughed. We learned. (Hopefully!) My students learned about new experiences; I sure did.

Now I've taught fifth grade for almost a decade and I can't believe I was ever scared. Don't let my students know that! :) I just calmly brew a pot of tea in the morning and carry on.

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