For all teachers, but particularly first year teachers, Education Minnesota Conference weekend can provide some necessary reflection time. At this point, you've likely fallen into survival mode. The newness of the year has worn off but you still can't quite catch up. This weekend can be a great opportunity to stop, connect, and recharge. If you're like me, you spent some time at the Professional Conference today, which is always a great opportunity to network or learn something new. But, as I would suspect, some of you took the opportunity to slow down a bit.
This long weekend might be a great opportunity to send an email or make a phone call to another new teacher you graduated with or you met at new teacher orientation. That person you've been meaning to find out how their year has been going but just haven't had the time? Yeah, that one. These friends can offer important personal and emotional support for you in this tough first year. They can also be a sounding board for instructional reflection and problem-solving. Particularly in my first year of teaching, I needed people to talk with about "my kids," people who understood how hard this job was and how nagging the concerns for students can be. How best intentions fall flat. How exhausting it is to plan 6 straight hours of instruction. every. day.
Even if you've been too busy to connect since you've left your programs or orientation, set aside a few minutes this weekend or in the next few weeks to reconnect with someone who can relate to where you are in this journey of your first year of teaching.
Whatever you have planned for this weekend, the conference, yard work, a last trip to the cabin, sleep, I hope that you can find some time to recharge.