The Good, The Bad, and The Anxiety.

So you get the first teaching job of your career… but no one tells you about the stress/anxiety, the possibility of driving home in tears, the paperwork, sleepless nights, and literally thinking about quitting every day. Two things that I learned from an exhausting year were:

1. Teach where you feel wanted and appreciated.

2. Be calm.

My first year as a teacher was amazing but my second was the most altering and pivotal moment yet of my career. I experienced no peer support, no effective PD training, no administrative support, I took on the students no one wanted (they pile all the “unwanted ones” on new teachers), given a small classroom, and on top of that a parent hated me and would talk about me to students. I was promised a new classroom at the new school site being built but at a screeching halt my contract was not renewed for the next school year. I was heartbroken and defeated. I didn’t realize it then but losing that position was the beginning of a new position within a more diversified school district and a step closer to my passion of Reading Literacy

I am not the only teacher who has been through the “fire”. Remembering your purpose and your vision will always place you right were you are meant to be! Here’s a candid experience of what Mrs. Nylor, a nine year Teaching Vet, had to say about her first year? Read below.


Sunday, June 24, 2018

Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Year

You finally got that call! “I would love to offer you a position at ABC Elementary!” You are ecstatic and super ready to get started. You’re nervous, anxious, and a whole bunch of other feelings you can’t put into words. Despite your fears, you dive in to your first year of teaching. But what happens when it’s not what you expected? What happens when your first year is a terrible, horrible, no good, very. bad. year?

I remember it like it was yesterday. My little cousin and I were leaving for the airport. We were headed to Connecticut to visit our uncle. Right before we picked up our things to head out of the door, the phone rang. It was the phone call I had been praying all summer that I would receive. The principal I had interviewed with just one day before called to hire me. I all but sobbed on the phone. Lol. You see, it was approximately 2 weeks before school was to begin and I had spent all summer trying to find a job. I was so thankful, grateful, and HAPPY! Unfortunately, that feeling didn’t last long.

Fast forward to the week teachers started. I was completely overwhelmed. Now don’t get me wrong. I was still excited, however:

1 I student taught in a second grade class and I was hired for 4th (I had a LOT to learn)

2 This school had a particular way in which they wanted you to decorate your room (in regards to brain based practices. I was a first year teacher aka I was broke. Lol. I was completely stressed about how I was going get all the things I was supposed to have.)

3 I had missed all of the vital trainings and district orientations that were offered throughout the summer since I was hired 2 weeks before school.

4 This was my first real job. Helloooo! Wouldn’t you be stressed too? I was officially about to begin…. ahem. ADULTING. 😱 Lol.

Even with all that on my plate, I made it to the start of school. Only two days in, I had my first disappointing experience.  A parent moved her child out of my classroom. Why? “He didn’t know division.” Apparently this mom didn’t think I knew what I was doing despite the fact that I gave out the same homework that ALL the other 4th grade teachers gave. Did I cry? Yep. Why? I was upset that she didn’t give me a chance and again, it was the same homework everyone else gave! From then it continued to spiral. One thing after another. It seemed that no matter what I did, I could not please my principal. In meeting after meeting. Session after session. Nothing I did was right in her eyes. This lesson was too long. This lesson was too short. This lesson I used the wrong term. This lesson I didn’t seem prepared for.

I reached out to teammates for ideas and suggestions. I was spent countless hours grading papers, studying the state standards, and to top it all off, there was one particular parent who was convinced her child loved school until he came to my classroom (this child smiled DAILY in my classroom…). I was stressed out. Crying daily. Defeated. And confused. Then came one of the most hurtful things ever. I was told to “consider other career choices.” I couldn’t understand why something I had dreamed of for so long, something I knew I was meant to do, was turning out to be such a nightmare. Why was this so hard? Because it had to be…. for me.

Now looking back, if  I’m completely honest, I didn’t get it at first. I had no idea all the extra work that went into teaching. And I believe it took me so long to “get it” because with all the suggestions I was given from colleagues, I was trying to teach like everyone else but ME. While I believe I was treated unfairly, I absolutely accept responsibility for what I COULD control. While my first year was awful, I learned so much from that experience.

Needless to say I did not return to that school after my first year. I moved to an entirely different district where everything I did was right for a change! (But that’s a story for another time). While year one was horrible for me, and I did heavily consider not teaching anymore, I refused to let go of my dream. I knew in my heart that I wanted to teach. It absolutely crushed me, but I chose to believe what God had to say about me.

My first year made me a better teacher and a stronger person in general. I learned to have confidence in myself, and be advocate for myself. I also learned that I can’t be anyone but me. Trying to teach like others is NOT the way to go. Lol.

I am now entering my 9th year in education and I can actually say I am grateful for my first year of teaching experience. Not only would I not be the teacher I am today, but I wouldn’t be able to share my testimony with others. Also, since then, I have had the opportunity sit down with that principal and share with her my success. 😊

So, if you are a teacher that just finished your first year and it was similar to mine, KEEP GOING. If you are about to begin your career, BE YOU AND DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP. If you are a teacher facing adversity at your current school, PUSH THROUGH. Finally, if you are a teacher that had the same experience as myself your first year but you chose to push through and continue teaching, share your testimony. You never know who it could help. ❤️ Until next time ✌🏾

Nylor

P. S. – The year wasn’t all bad. My husband (then boyfriend of course) proposed that year

faithfamilyfifth.blogspot.com/2018/06/terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad-year.html

Mrs. Nylor Mc and her lovely family! (above)

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@faithfamilyandfifth (Mrs. Nylor Mc)

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Cipher: A Life of Shadows

At our very first heartbeat, I believe that each of us has a predestined journey and purpose.  We don’t get to choose the parents or family that we are born into to help us grow and learn on our journey of a lifetime.  Through the miracle of birth, we are pushed through by the human vessel; although we all would like to be born into a family of perfection, that is not the way life works for many.

I grew up in a poor single-family home.  My maternal grandmother raised me.   Molested by her mother’s boyfriend and only finishing primary school; she bore five kids and my mother was the fourth born to a man she would never grow to know.  When my mother was fifteen she became pregnant with me.  I am the product of my maternal great-grand mother and grandmother’s shadows.

HURT PEOPLE, HURT PEOPLE – Just because someone hurt you, does not give you the right to hurt others.

I didn’t realize what generational karma was until my paternal grandmother told me the reason she stopped letting my paternal grandfather watch me as a young child…. I immediately connected this to a feeling that had hunted me, the reason I connected sex with love, and why promiscuity found me at a young age.  My aunts had also been sexually abused… I had no idea until she revealed her truths.  I questioned the woman that my grandmother had always been to me; STRONG.  How could she have stayed with a man who had hurt so many others; who she had never married for love?  Ironically, she had also been a victim of molestation.  Oddly, my soul felt relieved but as a young mother, I immediately became over protective; if my own loved-one could do this to me, I had to protect my daughter, I had to break the cycle.

I was 26 that day that I called my paternal grandmother just in our daily routine and she had the most honest conversation with me that she and I had ever had and probably ever will.  She had lived a life that she wasn’t proud of and had married a man she had never loved, and she put up with some horrible things and had done some terrible things.  I didn’t need an apology, she taught me the greatest lesson in that one conversation.

I thought long and hard about the pillars in my family and who I could speak to about the emotions and concerns that I had.  I spoke to my oldest uncle who told me that he had known but I could not live in the fear of shadows, learning to discern without smothering my child was best.  He and my grandmother told me stories of lessons that I needed to bare for our family, and the generations to come.  If peace and blessings were to manifest than secrets that hunted my grandmothers and our ancestors…needed to be embraced.

The shadows that hunt us are:

  • Abuse
  • Addiction
  • Violence
  • Poverty
  • Illness
  • Abandonment
  • Betrayal

These shadows create cords that can entangle us and are often repeated and practiced for generations within our families.  In a discussion with some colleagues, we talked about the infamous Amber Rose and her “slut walk”, and why some women choose to perpetuate feminism/female empowerment with “naked-ness”.   She brought up the point that many of these women have been sexually abused and find promiscuity as an outlet and have not emotionally processed their issues. I began to think of all the people who walk around with secrets and traumas from dysfunctional families.  Are we internalizing our issues/shadows each generation and they manifest into our everyday interactions and communication?

According to the United Nations (UN) Study on Violence [World Health Organization (WHO), 2006], 150 million girls and 73 million boys under the age of 18 experienced CSA worldwide in 2002. The Childhood Maltreatment Summary 2005 (Child Welfare Information Gateway, 2007) estimates that 91,000 children were sexually abused in the United States in 2003.

The way we choose to handle or neglect our mental health and emotional ties today; affect our families tomorrow.  From the beginning of the destruction of the negro-family; up to this very moment, we must learn how to identify our roles, our shadows, and our truths just as often as we identify our accomplishments.

These binding ties are formed at birth and are practiced.  Generational karma/curses are real. Speak your truth, walk in faith, break cycles, embrace your shadows, and hold on to the morning LIGHT.

-Ase

“A House Divided Within Itself, Cannot Stand” – A. Lincoln 

They chanted ‘we will not be replaced.’ 

Replaced as … what? I’ll tell you. Replaced as the only voice in public discussions. Replaced as the law makers, replaced as the only bodies in the public and political arenas. Replaced as the only lives that matter or counted as humans.

“Make America great again!”

….well, what part of America’s history did Trump have in mind?

My only concern is that those same men and women (and don’t get it twisted, we know that they have partners who packed their lunch for this rally, so YES [WOMEN] ) get to go back to their jobs as police officers, teachers, bank officers, loan specialists , lawyers, judges, administrators, senators, CEO’s, executives, and presidents.  

Let’s be honest, there is no negative without positive, but being silent about the issue at Virginia University, whether of color or white, is allowing this type of negative thinking to thrive. 

There is no “Make America Great Again”. America was built on the backs of others; stollen and bartered as “The New World”. America is a corporation.  We don’t want to replace you, we want what is rightfully OURS! Life, equality, and the pursuit of happiness.

We repeat part of a National Anthem, that in it’s entirety, was never meant for us.

 “Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.  No refuge could save the hireling and slave from the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave…”

We send our sons and daughters to a national athletic league that exploits their talent. “The untypical exhibitionism of these athletes also violates the basic standards of good manners and sportsmanship, which are so highly valued in the United States.” …they proclaimed in 1968 as we only raised our fist.

From David Duke’s statement to Trump’s utterance of tasteless ignorance; white supremacy is wrong and needs to be proclaimed as so.  Our nation will always be diverse and we must learn to celebrate each other.  How dare we pretend bigotry does not exist on our own land but fight a war with nations over their own country for economic gains.  

“Don’t tell me about progress the black man has made. You don’t stick a knife 10 inches in my back, pull it out three or four, then tell me I’m making progress.’ ” – Jackie Robinson

America is that burning building Martin Luther King spoke of.  We try to shove our dark history under a rug and throw rocks just to hide our hands. No longer will we be able to pretend that racism is not real or that our country has the best interests of its people.

Many of us believe wholeheartedly in the undeniable truth that people of all races and ethnic backgrounds are, and deserve to be treated as, equal. Let’s continue to teach love and equality to children.  Let’s encourage our children to be leaders that promote the growth and diversity of all.  

Over 300 years of servitude and we are still demanding equality!    

Stony the road we trod.  Bitter the chast’ning rod, felt in the days when hope unborn had died; yet with a steady beat / Have not our weary feet, come to the place for which our fathers sighed?

….Will we ever get to the promised land as “ONE”?