Thursday, August 30, 2012

Beginnings

I was nervous. Although, the word nervous doesn't even get to the depth of the anxiety and complete sense of overwhelmingness that I felt.

It was Thursday. I was sitting in our "Orientation to Fall Block" – the part of the year where all senior education majors are introduced to what the rest of their lives at Covenant College will look like. As I listened I didn't know whether to sit there with my mouth agape, or burst into tears and burrow down in a corner. It was too much.

This semester consists of eighteen credit hours. I have done that before, so I know it is possible. However, the eighteen hours are nine different classes. One of those is a field placement. And that is where the fear seeped in.

I am in school studying how to be an elementary teacher. Yet, the idea of being in a school scares me. We were told we would begin Tuesday. We would be in a school on Tuesday! I was not ready. The more they described the school – the size, the population, the hugeness of it all – the more I wanted to not go.

Leaving class that Thursday I was overwhelmed. I prayed for peace. I also asked several people to pray for me and pray that my first day at the school where I was assigned would go well.

On Saturday, I realized I owned not one pair of anything other than jeans. This is a dilemma because teachers have a dress code and jeans are in the "not allowed" section of that dress code. So, off shopping I went (in rather a rush, seeing as I noticed this lack of appropriate teacher wear last minute! Ah!). It was a great trip and I came away with several non-jean pants! I was thrilled!

But, just because I now looked the part, it did not mean I was any more ready.

Monday night came – the night before my first arrival at the school – and I was nervous, so nervous. I had no idea what to expect. I didn't know how many students would be in the class. I didn't know if my cooperating teacher would be friendly. I didn't know where I would be eating lunch. It was a world of unknowns and that was terrifying. I continued to pray for peace. One friend recommended I read the end of Job so that I would remember how small I am and how big God is. What an encouragement! If God can do all that is described in Job, how much more able is He to take care of me on my first day in elementary school?

I woke bright and early on Tuesday morning. I dressed into my teacher's clothes, read more of Job, and waited for my ride to pick me up.

We got to the school with plenty of time. Since we were so early, a woman began to tell us about the different teachers who worked in their school. She began to describe a few of the teachers, who all sounded wonderful. Then she mentioned one who had graduated from Covenant. Wow! I thought, The person who has her as a cooperating teacher will immediately feel a connection because they have so much in common! And then she said the teacher's name.

I asked her to repeat it. It couldn't be. I thought for sure I was hearing it wrong. But I wasn't hearing wrong. The name really was her! It was the teacher whose name I had been memorizing on the trip to the school. The teacher who would be my cooperating teacher! I immediately felt ten times more comfortable. God is in control! Why do I so often forget that? Why do I give in to fear and worry so quickly?

I was warmly welcomed into the classroom by the students and my cooperating teacher. She graciously explained to me the set up of the classroom and the different teaching techniques and materials they use.  Anything I did not understand she would say, "Well, your professor So-and-So will be teaching you all about that in about two weeks!" It was wonderful that she knew my professors and what I knew and how nervous I felt.

As for the students, they have been a blessing! I have learned so much from helping them and watching them. They have made me laugh on multiple occasions. They have made me feel at home and so loved. And they have taught me so many things that only a child would notice.

I have been at the school for two days now and both were a blessing that I thank God for. He not only gave me a peace about being there, but He has provided above and beyond anything I could have imagined. Thank you to those of you who were praying for me my first day, God most certainly answered those prayers!

This is me, early in the morning, on my first day of teaching! Sorry for the fuzzy quality (it was taken quickly on the computer...)! I was wanting to show Mom and Dad my "teacher" look :) 

1 comment:

mjwets216 said...

Hannah you're going to be such a great teacher!! I pray that it keeps going well for the rest of the semester!!