First Year Teaching Survival

June… it is now June… how did this happen?

So here I sit… one day of regular classes left, 2 days away from the beginning of finals, 9 days away from from the grade 12 grad, my to-do list is quite lengthy, my marking is piling in, June 28th is my official last day of my first year of teaching, and now, after reading Kailee Brennan’s blog, it is time to reflect on this whirlwind of a year.

It all started with a phone call, an interview, and a job offer right around this time last year. I was ecstatic to be offered my first teaching job – a full time replacement contract teaching majority in my subject area, at the school I had just completed my internship at. I spent nearly two weeks in my classroom before classes began… cleaning, organizing, re-organizing, putting up posters, re-organizing, and trying to create the most welcoming, knowledge-rich environment I could.

The first semester was almost a blur, spending late nights and most weekends at the school planning, marking, and coaching soccer. I was relieved when the second semester began and I was teaching 2 classes I had taught in the first semester, I knew exactly what I wanted to keep the same and what needed to change. The second semester was also my opportunity to spread my wings and teach outside of my subject area, such as my rotation teaching Commercial Cooking 20, Psychology 20, English 9, and cooking and sewing to grade 9s. I was also a full-fledged head coach of the senior girls basketball team.

As with any teaching job, my first year had it’s ups and downs, the good days and the bad, the aha moments and the “why did I willingly choose this career?” moments… but as the year comes to an end and I look back, I truly enjoyed my first year of my teaching career. As Kailee said in her post, the first few months of teaching were all-consuming but it got easier. Eventually I didn’t have to go in on weekends or stay late into the evening, though I ended up spending most evenings and weekends coaching anyway, it helped that I didn’t have to do a ton of planing and marking on top of it.

I knew that it was only a one year deal when I signed my contract, but I must admit that I will be quite sad to leave this place. This building has been my second home for the past year… I even keep a stash of snacks and an extra coffee cup in my desk drawer.


Some of the highlights of my first year of teaching:
-assistant coaching a wonderful soccer team
-attending the STF New Teacher Conference, Project CRISS, SBTA Conference, and TEDxRegina
-History Jeopardy review games
-using Monopoly to help teach Accounting
-the Accounting Debit Credit rap
-having my desk covered in tin foil as a Christmas prank
-entering my first team in the SBTA Business Case Competition (one team finished 4th)
-Entrepreneurship class venture donating over $400 to charity
-head coaching my first senior girls basketball team, a heart-stopping overtime victory in conferences, and advancing to regionals
-working with a phenomenal staff and teaching some unbelievable students



I became a teacher because I wanted to inspire. I don’t know that I inspired anyone this year… I was merely happy to just survive but I know that this year will help me to inspire in the future.


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