I’m only one week into this second year of teaching and it’s already been crazy. In true Turkish fashion, all of the schedules were released at the last possible second (I’m talking the morning of…when there were already classes that were supposed to be in session), no classrooms assigned for said classes (resulting in hordes of confused kids wondering where to go), and the class groupings were all mixed up – so to recap, we had the wrong kids in the wrong classes and no classrooms to put them in. Last year, I would’ve probably collapsed from a heart attack. This year, I brushed that dirt off my shoulder and rolled with it like a champ. What a difference a year makes!
It feels so good to finally be in this place because a journey like this one is never easy. I can’t believe how enormous the gap between being a first and second year teacher is! I’m so much more organized. My lesson plans are better. I’m so much happier, which means I’m so much more capable of being present both in and outside of the classroom so I can be there for my students when they need me…because they really, really need us sometimes. Our school is a gifted school, so a lot of the students here are very hard on themselves and therefore prone to depression and anxiety. It’s also difficult at times because it’s a boarding school, and many of them go months without seeing family. I’m seeing so much more clearly this year how important my role as a teacher is in this environment.
I’m also taking much better care of myself. As they say, you can’t pour from an empty cup. Last year, I pretty much worked all day every day during the school weeks and then jumped into hard core traveling during all of the breaks, with absolutely no in between…not healthy. I’ve been committed to going to the gym every evening. I’m cooking at home most nights instead of eating at the cafeteria and actually getting some fruits and veg into my system. I’m trying to write more and create more art. Sometimes I just lay on my new rug and watch T.V. I don’t know how I ever survived last year without all of these things.
I’m really looking forward to being a better human this year. I feel so lucky to be where I am and to be able to do what I do.