I’ve been reading a lot of the new 2011 CM’s blogs on this site. Reading all their posts full of apprehension, expectations and excitement reminds me of being in their shoes approximately 1 year ago. I was apprehensive and excited, and had no idea what to expect. How would I manage a classroom? Exactly how do I teach children anything? You get the picture. Add to that having to uproot my youngest son (who was going to be a freshman in HS) and my husband and moving away from the place I’ve lived at for most of my life…leaving my parents and my oldest son, all of my friends and those places and things that have been with me for a really long time…re-homing my beloved Elvis because we couldn’t have a 180 pound dog in an apartment (he lives on a ranch now…and is as happy as can be…his new mom sends me pictures all the time…he’s in great hands). We came to a place where we knew absolutely no one, to teach in a place where everything was so different from what I knew. Induction…Institute…the first few months of school – absolute insanity, but they’ll make you realize what you’re made of and why TFA chose you. Trust me on that. Fast forward to today. There are 3 1/2 weeks left of school. My first year is almost over. I’ll be a second year CM soon. I honestly thought that day would never come….seriously. I am way more comfortable in my teacher skin now. My classroom management (thankfully, one of my strong points…must be that “mom” experience) has gotten even better. My kids have grown in leaps and bounds. My class data shows that…my kids’ attitudes show that too. I have made many mistakes…many, many of them. But I’ve also learned from them, and know that on day 1 of the next school year, things have to be oh so different. For one thing, I won’t be getting lost on the way to school and arriving 3 minutes before the bell rings.