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    first year
    By Mary

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    Man, the first year of teaching is really, really tough. I feel for you. I teach sixth grade language arts and in each of my classes, I have reading levels that range from second grade to ninth grade. I differentiate like crazy. It's like that all over. Also, the paperwork and meetings and just general crap are everywhere, too. I would like to encourage you to rethink your decision, though. The poster above was right, you sound like a wonderful teacher, and I promise, promise, promise you, IT GETS EASIER. The stuff that's giving you headaches this year won't go away, but everything is easier the second year and nothing will take you as long to complete next year as it's taking you this year. You will also learn to pick your battles, learn what in your mailbox can be thrown away, etc. The second year is truly like a whole different job. I'm in my third year now, and I love it. Yes, there are days I come home and I've had it up to HERE with eleven-year-old boys. There are days that I think my administrators should be slapped. But there are also wonderful moments, times that a parent tells you that your passion has turned their child around, and you see it, too. I love my job when I'm sitting in front of my plan book and I realize that I'm the one who gets to decide what I'm doing almost every day. I decide how I'm going to do it, too. I spent 23 years in business, and even with administrators and NCLB and district mandates, this job has far, far more autonomy. I don't think I could ever go back to working in a situation in which I was told what to do on a daily basis, where I didn't decide every aspect of my job, the sequence of events and their pacing, EVEN THE TEMPERATURE IN MY ROOM. Man, I never knew I was such a control freak until I became a teacher!

    Please rethink this decision. Our profession needs wonderful teachers like you. You will feel much better in your second, and subsequent, years. Oh, and the best part of teaching? You already named it; it's the kids. In this job, I get to laugh out loud all day long!

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