You did it hun!! You survived your first year! Not only did you survive it, but I'd say you did a freaking AMAZING job. You were thrown into an inner city school where the gang rate and poverty level was extremely high. You didn't have a mentor. Your team leader up and quit 3 months into the school year. 2 other teachers just up and quit because of how hard the students/administration were leaving YOU as the team leader of the entire middle school training TWO new teachers who came in only 4 months after yourself. Ummm... wow. And guess what - you run that middle school and it has transformed into a much more positive place because of you.
The other teachers come to you for discipline. The students come to you in confidence. The students look to you with respect in their eyes and admiration whenever you give them ANY amount of praise. You are a wonderful role model to these kids and they are so lucky to have you. I am so proud of you Mason. It's been such a roller coaster of a school year - combining your first year of teaching without any student teaching experience, starting your first year in your Master's degree, and having a new baby that you didn't get to see nearly as much as you wanted to, having an hour long drive from work, and fulfilling a somewhat demanding calling. You have done amazingly well.
So here's to your first year! You did it!
I took these pictures the week before school started. I think this was the first day Mason had gone into his classroom. Here is a before picture:
These were taken just this past week. And the after:
As I said before... I really am so proud of you Mason. I love this picture below. Again it was taken that first day when he got the key to his room. He was terrified and completely overwhelmed with feelings like, "What the fetch am I doing? Where do I even begin??" And I love his one little box of supplies sitting on the desk. From that one box Mason, you created a beautiful learning environment and touched a whole lot of lives.