I Finished My First Year Teaching

I just finished my first year teaching. My students are gone. I’m moving onto a different district. I’m emotional.

Ironically, 5 years ago today, I graduated high school. I had my entire adulthood ahead of me. In those 5 years, so much has changed. One thing that hasn’t changed is that I am dead set on being the best teacher that I can possibly be for my future students. I wanted to be a teacher that 17 year old me could be proud of. I can say that I’ve done that this year. Also, I think the teachers that saw and inspired me in high schools would be proud of the teacher I am now too. Let’s be real, they’re a big reason as to why I pursued this career path in the first place.

This year forced me to become confident and believe in myself. This year forced me to fight for what I think is right and advocate for others in a way that I’ve never done before. It was hard, but I’m grateful I learned how to do it.

Teaching this year was hard, as we are coming back from the pandemic and trying to define the new normal. I couldn’t have done it without my mentor teacher and all of the others who’ve taken me under their wing. I’ve found my teaching voice (despite losing my actual voice today).

Saying goodbye to my students was hard. I cried for 20 minutes after they left. I know all of them are going to continue to be incredible individuals someday.

Despite there being so many things that were hard, I still got through it all. I never gave up and I got stronger and stronger. I’m incredibly resilient after everything I’ve been through this year. In a way that makes me limitless as well. I’ve done things that I never thought I could ever do. I’ve graduated from NYU with all As. I moved to a brand new city and figured how to live in it without knowing anyone. All of which I will continue be, resilient and limitless.

This year slammed the fact that I can do anything I put my mind too right in my face. It brightly shined the idea that I’m supposed to be a teacher and in the field of education for my entire career.

I still have a long way to go as an adult and as a teacher, but I’ll get there. I’ll work on it and I cannot wait to see the type of teacher I am 5 years from now because I know that the 17 year old me would be even more proud.

Best,

K DeBois

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