day 2(ish)

I gave a speech this morning.  It was a short speech on newness.  I spoke about my brother and his favorite phrase, “Hey you want to go on an adventure?” and I spoke about being new to my school.  It desperately made me miss the classroom. As much as I move away from being at the front of my classroom from lecturing and such I am still at the center of my classroom.  I miss that feeling.  The feeling of having a group of people who want to listen to you and learn from you.  I have never been afraid of public speaking.  I don’t completely understand the teachers that say they can speak in front of a class but not adult.  I mean I get that it’s a thing it just isn’t for me.

I am just so ready to start teaching.  I think another part of it is this feeling of inadequacy.  I am really good in the classroom.  At least I am good enough that I feel accomplished but I was not an achiever growing up.  The faculty here is very accomplished especially the other young women faculty.  The all went to impressive east coast colleges.  At least they all seem fancy to me.  (Side note: they all also happen to be really nice women.)  It’s a strange feeling of not being up to par as someone who has never really been competitive this feeling of less than is pretty awful.

It is leading me to feeling the need to prove why I was hired, I think.  As soon as I get back in to the classroom I can do that because once I am in the classroom I am in my element but talking about achievements I am not.  I mean I went to a fine school, I got fine grades, it took me five years not four and occasionally I feel like the slightly less impressive step-child.   I’ve never doubted that what I did for me was right but it certainly wouldn’t be bragged about in these circles.

Anyway,  there are some thoughts and feelings.  I’ll be here at Hogwarts being, you know, awesome if you need anything.


4 thoughts on “day 2(ish)

  1. Such an adventure!
    I, also, am surprised at teachers who won’t stand up and speak to adults. Do they think less of students than they do the adults? I am pretty much the same person, in front of my students, in front of my peers, in front of almost anyone. (Well, maybe not my parents, after all they are my parents!)
    As for fancy east coast colleges, they’re not better than modern California colleges – just older. Maybe stuffier, I don’t know.
    You’ll do fine because regardless of where you are, you connect with people. And that is the best skill a teacher can have.


  2. i love when you write posts like this. i can’t imagine all of the different ways you are having to re-calibrate your settings right now as you adjust to a life where (almost) everything is new. you’re right that in times of change your classroom can be what’s stable/familiar/home. good luck with all of it.


  3. Hello! I just started reading your blog and have been looking for fellow math teachers to commiserate with. I feel that the best way to grow as a teacher is to compare and contrast notes with others in the same boat.

    To be honest with you, I am one of those people that have been deathly afraid of public speaking but as I grew into it in college, I found that the material speaks for me. It’s much easier to talk about math than it is to make small talk, for me anyway. I’m one of those really awkward people that don’t have a lot in common with others and usual stay silent about most things. But math and math teaching are who I am as an individual and I truly do define myself in terms of it.

    Sometimes people ask me, if I wasn’t a math teacher what would I be. I have considered other options but I’ve grown to answer it in the following way: I don’t think I would BE if I wasn’t a teacher. It’s so inextricably linked to my being.

    Anyway, don’t worry about other teachers having ‘better’ credentials than you. I went to the cheapest but well known college in NYC for math education and I find that your sucess is 50% your training and 50% your character. Some people can get the best training but if they don’t have the character to be a teacher, it’ll never work out. And I think you have both, so don’t worry. I look foward to hearing for you more. (Sorry for hi-jacking your post).


  4. I so hear this.

    It’s totally an adjustment from California where it seems like everyone goes to state schools (because our state schools are damn good!) and that’s really not taken as a barometer of achievement in the same way that it is to go to an Ivy/sister women’s college/smaller top tier elite private schools vs a public school/almost any other school.

    I don’t think I have the same experience, because my college was way lefty enough that I can sort of adopt a more-radical-than-though air if need be, and it’s sort of infamous, even if we didn’t rank highest for GPAs – it’s because we didn’t have them. But still, the list-your-achievements-and-its-really-important-for-social-standing thing is way intense out here, comparatively. I can only imagine more so at Hogwarts, as opposed to my little lefty queer corner of Boston.


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