Always a First Year Teacher

The experience of being a first-year teacher is uniquely disorienting.  

I find myself suddenly responsible for children at an age of which I have limited experience.  I must attend compassionately to who they are and what they need even as they are unable to communicate this to me directly.  I must, balancing empathy and assertiveness, consistently create the world of the class.  And I must maintain this sense of consistency even as I integrate constant improvements to serve the students better.  And I must do this every day. 

For parents, too, a similar dynamic is always at play.  Since my oldest child is always getting older, I am always a parent of a child of an age of which I have little direct experience.  (Today is the first day I have parented a child of 4.65 years, for example.)  

It is right to acknowledge the challenge of this dynamic.  When we do, we are able, also, to see the possibility.  We get to meet our child anew every day.