Anticipation ... Peddie teacher awaits her first day of class

Tabitha McKinley will hold her first class as a Peddie School faculty member on Monday. McKinley joins several new faculty members at Peddie this year -- to view her biography and those of her new-to-Peddie colleagues, click here.

Tabitha McKinley
So I have insomnia. Instead of flipping through the channels on television, I decide to triple check my syllabus. My not-even-close-to-half-awake husband rolls over and says, "My goodness you love that job!" It's true...

I think back to the day last July when I sat in my beautiful office, high on the top floor of one of the many buildings of the magnificent campus of Educational Testing Services (ETS) in Princeton. Pay was excellent, benefits second to none, but I felt empty. I said inside of myself, "I miss teaching"

After so many experiences in teaching public school, it's both exciting and overwhelming to have the chance to teach in an environment where learning is valued as a wholistic process. I have already been in contact with many of my students via email who seemingly possess the same level of expectation for the greatness to come that is AP Psychology.

I remember this feeling. I experienced something similar to it only twice in my lifetime. I had carried a life within myself for 37.5 weeks. I spent time and energy researching what kind of person I should be during my first and second trimesters. I followed a very disciplined routine to prepare my lifestyle for the changes that a complete giving of myself would entail. I was ready...but was I? In the last few days and weeks panic set in. Would all of my preparation have been enough? Was the room ready and comfortable? Would my baby even like me? 

Questions ran through my head like the faucet in my kids' bathtub that never seems to be all the way off no matter how hard we turn it.

Then I met my babies, and they me. It was love at first sight. There was and is a mutual respect. They think I'm brilliant and are amazed at how much I know (thanks, Google for making me a Mommy Rock Star), and I often stare at them in wonder or eavesdrop on their conversations in complete awe at how much they teach me every day.

As I begin my first school year in four years I am ready to meet my students with the same theoretical anticipation as a new mother meeting her child yet unborn. There is much to impart to my pupils, but in turn there is so much that they will give to me. This process will enrich us all.

Perhaps when I think back to that soul searching last July, instead of saying, "I miss teaching", I should've been thinking, "I miss learning."

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