The First Day of School

Ahhh….it is that time again. Part of me is looking around at numerous projects that were not finished. Part of me is so excited for the year ahead.

This year is already starting off a hair different. I was recently awarded the #PAEMST from 2015 for New York. What does this actually mean? I’m not really sure! How will it impact this year?

  1. I am starting with some confidence that my thoughts and ideas are on track with quality teaching. That doesn’t mean I won’t question what I am doing. It just means that I know I can count on my gut.
  2. While I am missing three days right at the start of school (the most days I’ve ever taken in a row) ahhI will be meeting with some of the best teachers in the country. I am so thrilled to learn what strategies they employ with their students. I am excited to come back and try what I learn with my students. I can only hope that my students this year will be excited to provide feedback as we sift through various ideas and methods.
  3. I feel a ton of pressure to be amazing. Prior to this no one knew what I was doing in my classroom. While I was evaluated like everyone else I also often felt like no one actually cared what I was doing. I would talk with members of my department, we would try things. It was always safe experimentation. Safe conversation. Now, all of a sudden, some other people are curious. It think it is great and I am happy to share. That is something I’ve loved doing since my time working on the POGIL project. But I’m not going to lie, I’m also super nervous to be under the microscope. I now know what people think I am doing. I only hope I live up to their and more importantly my daily expectations for helping students to learn chemistry from where they currently are!

I am sure these thoughts will develop. Today was the first day that everything felt ‘official’; the start of school, my trip to DC, the award. Possibly it was because I packed, possibly because my plans are finalized, possibly because ….??????

I can only hope that this will be best year yet for chemistry students at Saranac Lake High School.





One thought on “The First Day of School

  1. Fred Ende says:

    A great post! I think the pressure to be “awesome” or “amazing” is one that we all face. It is both a necessary pressure, and, at times, one that we need to do away with. Our valuations of “awesome” or “amazing” are always different than everyone else’s, and there is always someone’s benchmark that we won’t reach. So, it is important that our assessments of these qualifiers be based on our own internal barometer, if you will, that allows us to focus on getting better, rather than reaching a certain category of “awesomeness!”


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