Reflection on Year One - Blog! - Two-Fisted History

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Reflection on Year One

Well, we made it to the end of the year!  Well done one and all.

It’s been a pretty awesome year here at Two-Fisted History.  Yeah, hundreds of people check out the site every month.  We helped sponsor EdCamp Buffalo, and the site showed up on Reddit.  I’m not thinking about the digital stuff, though.  This year was my first year working full-time in a school.  It also looks like to be the last time I work at the school that I’ve been a part of since my student teaching days.

It’s a year that I know I’ll never forget.  Being a ‘Freelance Educator’ is a thankless job.  Every day you see a random group of kids from a random school.  The kids know that you’re only there for a short time, and that they can do as they please for the most part – after all, it’s not your classroom. ‘You’re not a “real teacher.”’ They say.   If you’re lucky (as I was) a school regularly calls you and you start getting to know students and they you.

By the by, this is where you develop the skill to not take anything personally.  It’s a skill that every teacher needs.

This year was different.  With classes of my own, I got to see the impact that I could make on my students.  I’ll confess: two years ago was the only, time I was angry with a student.  For ten minutes, this Sophomore was interrupting class, telling me and the class how she didn’t want to be there.  I’m not proud to admit that for a split-second, a flash of aggrivation came over me when she said, in all earnestness, ‘Mr. S, you must hate me an awful lot to force me to learn this.’

I was trying to teach these 15 and 16 year old Non-ESL students how to use adjectives in an AIS English class.

This year was different, like I said.  Yeah, there were struggles and tribulations, but  I got  to see the fruits of out labours: myself, my students, & my fellow teachers that is.

What I’ll take away from my first full-time gig are joys such as finding my desk covered with Post-It Notes saying how much I was missed after one day’s absence.  The High-Five and giddy ‘Mr. S! Miss R was so proud of me when I got a 100 on the Global homework you helped me with.’  Or ‘Mr. S! I passed my Global Regents that you helped me study for!’

This past year I also had a 'Special Project.' A student needed to pass his Global Studies exam, and it was my mission to ensure this happened. I had decided that when June started, I wasn't going to shave until he passed or school started next year.  I'm pleased to say that I'm clean-shaven again.   I’m also not ashamed to admit that I danced in the halls when I learned that he passed it

This year was bittersweet, too.  This past Friday, students that I’ve known since I was a Student Teacher and they were fresh-faced freshman.  Now they’re off to face the world.  Good luck & Godspeed, Class of 2014!

It’s been a pretty darn good year.  I can’t wait to see what next year brings.

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