It's official. I'm a teacher.
I say that now, after my first day as a teacher with no "cooperating teacher" to report to, no "field instructor" to observe me, and no "professor" to give me assignments to make sure I'm planning lessons. No, now I have a "principal" to come in an check on me, making sure everything's going okay. I have a "colleague" (well, more than one, but one other high school math teacher) to run to when I need an idea or have a question about how else something can be done. I have a "mentor" to help show me the ropes of the school and ease my transition. I am a teacher.
Now that the first day is over, I can think about how I can do things differently tomorrow to make it better. Before today, I questioned how I could ever get to know individual students and their work patterns quickly, how to distinguish between them and make sure I'm meeting each of their needs. I'm still working on it, but it's amazing how much you can learn about a kid (or 6 of them at a time) in an hour and a half.
One of the students had a real, "aha" moment today. I didn't think she would ever understand how to substitute a number for a variable without prompting, but by the end of class, she did it! She was so proud of herself, too. :-)