My First Year Teaching vs. Teaching During a Pandemic [Interactive]

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[0:02] Today on the PE Express podcast, I’ll share some of my first year struggles compared to the pandemic.

[0:30] Welcome to the PE Express podcast. Today, I would like to share some of the similarities I had for my first year teaching and teaching during the pandemic. Four years of college or maybe more… Some of us were on a extended plan and that didn’t include the master’s degree. Years of course work provided by college professors, all the practice from student teaching, they were all great building box for my education. You complete all that course work and then you receive your first teaching job. Man, the excitement of getting your first job. You’re on cloud nine and you’re ready to take on the world of physical education or so he thought.

[1:12] Dating myself, my first teaching job was in 1995 in a suburb of Houston, Texas. I went into the setting thinking I was fully prepared and could accomplish anything. Then reality set in. Even though I had the coursework to prepare for my teaching. I was not really prepared. I struggled mightily with all aspects of teaching. The pacing of my lessons. Why didn’t the kids get what I taught them? I was Zoom, zoom, zoom right through everything and I taught too much before they had mastery of the skills The quality of my lessons. I thought I knew it all when in reality I knew very little. Oh my God, classroom management. Let’s not even go there. I didn’t have a procedure in place that effectively dealt with classroom issues. Thank goodness somebody introduced me to Harry Wong and procedures, procedures, procedures. I left each day feeling overwhelmed and exhausted and question if this was truly a profession for me. I persevered, and throughout the years, with the help of colleagues, mentors and a strong professional organization, TAHPERD, I continued to grow in my field. I never wanted to have that feeling again.

[2:34] Then the pandemic started last March. I just returned from a relaxing spring break to find once again I was a first-year teacher again. Our district shut down and the fear and unknown of that first year of teaching crept back into my mindset. At first, the lessons were provided by the district and fear was not a factor. How many of you remember that show? But things needed to change and they did. We transitioned from a learning platform that I was somewhat familiar with to a learning management system that was so foreign to me. My stress and anxiety went through the roof and once again I questioned my ability to teach in new ways. What model we’re using today? Asynchronous/synchronous? Are we going to have a hybrid model? Man, I was so confused? What I was really good at was face-to-face instruction and that didn’t work. Once again I was questioning the pacing and quality of my lessons and classroom management took on a whole new meaning in the virtual world.

[3:44] What has always made physical education so rewarding is the willingness of individuals to share ideas and for the state and national organizations to transition to different platforms to help us succeed. There are so many people out there that deserve kudos, especially my wife who is also an education. All you twitterverse people out there, all of you people sharing on YouTube. Thank you. I’m so thankful for all that you’ve done and all the ideas that you’ve shared that helped me through this pandemic. The most important word I learned during the pandemic is the word “No”. I was always that yes person. No matter what you ask of me the answer was yes. But I had to carve out some time for my own self-care. In the end, it’s important to take care of yourself and realize that we can’t do everything.

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