Early in My Teaching Career: Reflections

Eichler, Amanda

This is not my first year teaching, or my first year at Kent School. I was fortunate enough in the fall of 2017 to student teach at Kent School and then work there in the spring of 2018 as the after care instructor. My first year of teaching at another school was less than amazing, and I knew that the school was not a good fit for me. When Nancy, the Head of Kent School, offered me a job for this academic year, I could not have been more excited. 

The beginning of this year brought many changes. I had to transition from being at another school to a school I was familiar with, but with the added pressure of presenting myself as more than the former student teacher. I am the youngest teacher at the school and I feared being viewed as “the intern”. I was anxious, but my fears were swept away as I was welcomed by the community. 

My students further welcomed me into the Kent School community. My goal for this year was to obviously teach my students, but also showed them that in my classroom they are loved and valued. I wanted to show my kids that they may not be the best writers or love reading, but I accept them for who they are. I feel like I achieved this goal, especially with the feedback I have received during COVID. Academically, my students are stronger; they are brighter, better readers, and stronger writers. Many have more confidence in their abilities and at the very end of the day, that is all that matters to me.

COVID has caused many changes, but also revealed many strengths that would have not been as obvious without this unfortunate situation. This experience has shown me what a great support system that I have, how resilient my students are, and how thankful I am for my classroom. My administration, co-workers, and parents took this bad situation and made the best of it. We have come together and supported one another during this difficult time. Many of my kids have become strong, independent learners and shown themselves that they are capable of achieving greatness. I am so incredibly proud of them. Even though we have made lemonade out of lemons, I cannot wait to return to my physical classroom. I never realized how important a setting can be. 

My second year of teaching is certainly one I will remember. I have goals and ideas for next year, and I am proud of how this year turned out. There is always room for improvement, but it is also important to enjoy the moment. This year may not have been ideal, but I am grateful to have finished this year as a member of the Kent School community. 

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