The desks are ready, books neatly covered and placed at right angles, each covered by a worn atlas. The whiteboard has the day's agenda (well, the history agenda, anyway). Copies of the first week's work are in trays, awaiting distribution (well, the history work, anyway). Almost everything is in place--only the reading books remain, and that is easy.
Most of the kind and fabulous women in the English department met with me and helped me figure out the first week, and the other kind and fabulous woman lent me a complete unit for the second week. I still have a bajillion questions about how not to teach what they already know, how to find out what they don't, how to use the diagnostics that are supposed to answer those two questions, how to make sure I hit it all, how to really give these kids what they deserve. I can't live up to that, though, because. Because I won't be very good my first year. I try to reconcile myself to that. I won't be terrible, far from it. I will get better. But it's the law of the rookie, the greenie, the beginner. I bring energy and drive and willingness, but they aren't substitutes for know-how!
The task here is twofold.
1) Do my best
2) Don't beat myself up for falling short of how effective I want to be
Unlike my classroom, my teaching is not almost there. But because of the kind and the fabulous, with the support of all the resources I graciously have been given, by following in the surer footsteps of others--like the Beatles sang, it's gonna be all right.