This fall, I started teaching first grade after the school year was already in a few months. It is a second career for me. Last year, I did substitute teaching in grades K-8 and didn’t mind because there were no additional responsibilities. All I had to do was survive the day and go home.

Recently, an opportunity came in my path to give teaching a try. I figured first graders are cute and the lessons should be easy enough to handle. That’s true but getting through the lesson over the talking is another story.

I watch the online videos and try the suggestions. I must not have the magic touch. Of course I love children but grades have to be entered. At the end of the school year, I will write part two of this story to see how things turned out and what I learned. It will be a work in progress.

There are three sides to the dynamic. First is the student. Some are quick and need to be kept busy. Some are slow and never are able to complete a worksheet. I don’t know what their home situations are. There will always be a few in each class with behaviors that take all your time and energy.

The second is the parent. I don’t know what life situations they are going through. They want to know their children are safe, happy and learning.

The third is the teacher. As a child, I didn’t know what their day was like. As a parent, I trusted their knowledge. When my children were in school, I was an aide. I helped out but like substitute teaching, my day ended when the kids went home. As a substitute I made it through the day but thought the students must be better behaved for their teacher. I never thought I could be a teacher.

Now, I am the teacher. I am in awe of those with quiet students who walk in straight lines without talking and raise their hands to speak. How do they do it? I have no idea. I certainly am no expert on this topic. The purpose of this article is to offer comfort to other teachers just starting out who feel discouraged. I’m trusting part two will have a happy ending. The real test will be seeing what happens next year. Thank you to all teachers who are trying their best to help children in the community.