Everyone says that teaching really starts to fall into place your third year. First year, you’re just working to keep your head above water and survive. Second year, you’re surviving but you also have time to look around and notice all the things you should be doing but can’t quite handle yet. Third year, you’re supposed to finally be functional enough to start handling more of the little details.
This week, I had a moment in my classroom where I finally saw that might be coming. I was standing in front of my kids and felt like I was doing a million things at once without feeling the strain. It was sort of an out-of-body moment, where I remembered all the times an observer had suggested I try something and I laughed at even the idea of trying to pile one more thing on, and here they were all happening simultaneously. I got pretty excited, and can imagine I probably started strutting around the class like a teacher on tv at that moment.
Had someone walked into my room, they probably wouldn’t have noticed anything different. Just because I’m doing more things doesn’t mean I’m doing them well, obviously. It’s more that I was recognizing an increase in my ability to handle things and a decrease in my stress level. It’s like everything is finally starting to come together.