In honor of my fellow overcaffeinated and underslept educators-in-training out there.
11. You earn free Oren’s coffees like it’s your second (or third, or fourth) job.
10. You’ve taken a nap on the red library couch and/or in the quiet room, without shame. Also probably definitely in your own classroom.
9. You no longer question the assumption that weekends are for doing homework. Your social circle misses you, but has pretty much accepted that you turn into a pumpkin after 8pm. (Or is that 4pm?)
8. You can do some of this APA thing without looking it up on Purdue OWL. That, or you long ago started using an app for that and never looked back. BibMe, we are not worthy!
7. You refer to courses by numbers, not titles. Or maybe by acronyms like DV1 and DV2. “563… which one is that?” “The literacy one.”
6. Speaking of acronyms… You’ve survived O&R. You might even have enjoyed it a little.
5. You know your sixteen-digit library barcode by heart. (I can’t be the only one who has this disease.)
4. You’ve been told by Agatha, the evening librarian, that you’re nothing but trouble. Which is great, because she means it lovingly. If you’re lucky, she’s given you work/fashion/relationship advice at some point.
3. You still don’t understand the beer-sizing system at Bernheim & Schwartz, but you bear with it to avoid the undergrads at The Heights.
2. You may not spend a lot of time in it, but you eventually found out where the grad student lounge is. (Yes, we really do have one.)
1. Lastly, and most importantly: somewhere along the line, sometime after your first nerve-wracking “reading meeting” with a second grader you’d never met before, mixed in with lots of lesson plans, reflection assignments so frequent we laughed at our syllabi, and constant foraging for free snacks… one day you turn around and you’ve got an educational toolbox, as if it snuck in. It’s full of strategies and skills and goals and worries and some helpful failures as well. You have a teaching philosophy, and not just because the wonderful Pam Jones made you write one (and then a better version, and then a better version…).
All that you’ve learned about the deeply screwed up history of schooling in America has you on a sine curve from frustration and rage up to hope and determination on a regular, sometimes daily, basis. You’re ready to get out there and do this, not because you understand the whole of it but because you’re ready to keep on learning and to push for some desperately needed change. You’re full of wild patience (thanks, Adrienne Rich).
You know that the thing that excites you the most might also be the thing that scares you the most, and that’s good, because you’re in this for life-long learning. Or you will be, once you get about three months’ worth of sleep.
Okay friends. I’m proud of you, and I believe in you. Take this tiny potato, and go do the thing!