April 28, 2017

Austin Padjen: Learning The Importance Of Teaching Colleagues

05/01/2018

This Wednesday was a very cool moment for me at Beloit Memorial. Wednesday Juniors took the ACT, which meant first and second block was used primarily for test taking hours. Only Juniors were in the building and I still went just to see if there was anything for me to do or if there was maybe something I could learn. When I got to my classroom Mr. Hoey was not there, he was standing in the hallway adjacent to the classroom with the Social Studies faculty. While I had met most of the faculty, some of them I did not recognize so I decided to join their circle.

It was a really fun experience, for the hours I was there I felt like I was faculty too. We talked about everything: job placement, the interview process to get hired, money, stories about students, curriculum they use, textbooks, college, discipline in the classroom, the cell phone policy, and I am sure there is more I am forgetting, but the whole experience of just being around a majority of the social studies faculty gave me great insight. One particular piece of advice was from an administrator, whose name I can’t recall, who told me not to worry so much when teaching in the classroom. He gave me great advice on how to manage anxiety in the classroom, and told me that his first five years teaching were the most gut-wrenching experiences of his life because he was constantly worrying if he was doing everything right. It felt good to hear that from someone with decades of experience over me, and that whole day made me realize how important it will be to have positive relationships with colleagues.

It seems like the better the relationship you have with your colleagues the less stress one will have, because having colleagues like the social studies teachers at Beloit Memorial means that there is a support system, and it is that system that can help with the anxiety that can accumulate from teaching. My goal for when I first start out is to build that relationship as best as I can, and thankfully I already have it at Beloit Memorial.

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