That’s how I’m feeling right about now. I finally made my return to teaching (on a very, very, very part-time basis). This afternoon, I returned as a substitute teacher to a group of noisy and energetic second-grade students. Check that one off the list!
I gotta say, that was exhausting. I only subbed a half day, I’m pooped, and my head is pretty much pounding. Second grade is much different than fourth grade (which is what I student taught), that’s for sure! The noise level for me today was extremely overwhelming. I had a hard time hearing students and found myself getting easily frustrated. I’m not sure if it was because of the chatty children, being rusty and “outta the teaching game” for so long, just my one-eared hearing, or a mix. I guess that’s TBD.
Either way, I’m very proud of myself for doing it! My goal was to begin subbing again after the New Year, and I followed through with that. I think at this point, I’ll try subbing once a week for a while until I feel more comfortable.
The best part about today? I felt at ease teaching at a school I was used to, which was where I did my student teaching last year! It was beyond wonderful seeing teachers and my old students! Everyone was so warm and welcoming, stated how great I looked, and how happy they were to see me back. Several teachers stopped in to give me a “welcome back” hug. Many of my former students also heard Miss Nugent was in the building, and came by to say hello after school, too! I think that the kindness and caring from peers and students was somewhat emotionally overwhelming, but in a good way. I imagine the more I teach, the more things will settle down into a normal setting.
All in all it was a crazy-good day. As my friend Janet says, it’s all about the small victories. Today was definitely another milestone for me, and for that reason, I’m proud.