I felt so honored and included when I received a small paper bag of office supplies and this note from our ASB students at the beginning of the school year. As a student teacher, I assumed I would not be on anyone's radar, yet there I was on day one, fortunate to already be included in the AGHS community. My cooperating teacher was incredibly welcoming. He invited me to attend all staff meetings and found extra school t-shirts from prior years for me to have and wear on Fridays.
I began working a week prior to the start of the school year and was slightly surprised by the last minute details being hammered out (particularly class rosters), the result of which was no time to get to know students before the first day of school and no Wi-Fi functionality for the first month of school. Throughout the first week, my cooperating teacher introduced me to colleagues, gave me a tour of campus, and shared his thought process during the setup of the classroom and the first few weeks of lesson planning. We also attended department meetings to ensure that all 12 of the social science teachers communicated regularly about the curriculum, shared assessments, and arrangments for sharing carts of Chromebooks and other resources. We also continued creating unit plans using an Understanding by Design format. My cooperating teacher and I agreed that I would observe him for the first two weeks and I would run the classroom for our juniors beginning in the third week. Jumping head first into the process of teaching and collaborating with new colleagues helped me dispel some of my nerves and focus on my new challenge -- teaching teenagers!