The last several days have been tough. I struggled during Week 2 with just about every aspect of my job: planning, execution, management, organization, tracking, and on and on. On top of that, I was physically exhausted by midday Wednesday, despite the long weekend. In some ways, my sanity was saved on Thursday, after students were sent home halfway through the day due to extreme heat (most Baltimore city schools, including mine, have no AC). In other ways, the heat day is a nightmare, but that’s another topic.

Since, for once, I had the luxury of some extra time, I spent well over an hour that afternoon being mentored by a third-year teacher on my 9th grade team. It’s always fantastic to get good advice, but criticism can also be hard to swallow and overwhelming. And it’s really tough to walk the line between being confident enough to effectively execute your strategy, while at the same time being open to continuous improvement.

So that began my several days of thinking about how I am going to reinvent myself as a teacher–a process that will probably have to be repeated many times. I know I’ve I’ve spilled my guts about my problems to several veteran teachers. I’ve gotten a lot of good advice, and I think I’ve finally managed to wrap my head around my action items for this week.

One thing I’ve learned is that teachers are generally really generous toward rookies. On the other hand, there’s really only so much anyone else can do for you. Ultimately, so much of your job simply can’t be delegated, at least until your ship is really tight. And mine isn’t right now. But I think I’ve taken some important steps toward getting there.

Next step: starting to clean up the messes I’ve created for myself.

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