Field Day. The smell of freshly cut May grass, the heat of the Colorado sun on my skin, frozen water bottles melting, shouts of children cheering on their friends and classmates to win the blue ribbon - 1st place. Legs pumping, lungs burning, grass trampled underfoot in the relay race. One year, I won that coveted blue ribbon. These are my memories of the annual track and field competition at my elementary school.
In middle school, this cheerful day was replaced with the P.E. class Olympics. I no longer won any ribbons. Then, high school came, and there were no more all-school sports competitions, which was fine by my as I'd lost interest in anything having to do with running or sports.
I have been teaching at my new school for almost 3 weeks now, and it's been a very stressful transition. Part of this stress comes from being unable to attend the majority of the teacher orientation. This meant that I wasn't up to speed on the school policies, the grading systems, etc. It also meant that I hadn't met any of the other teachers before I started. In fact, until today I didn't know how to take attendance in Engrade.
The other part of this transition that has been difficult is teaching English Language Arts for the first time -- without an English department to go to for help. As a Fulbright teacher, most of my teaching centered around English conversation and communication (which is very difficult to teach in classes of 40 students). In addition, I had no prior training for teaching English Language Arts. Thus, I have been constantly stressed about how to teach reading and writing.
Perhaps if I wasn't the sole English teacher and there was more of an established curriculum, I wouldn't feel so stressed.