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Teaching: Perspective from a first-year teacher

First-year teacher from Mentor High School gives her thoughts on teaching and how her year has been
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Teaching is one of the most important professions in the world. Teachers help children and teenagers grow and develop into successful members in society. Teachers can be amazing role-models and help inspire the world with their furthering of critical thinking. Teaching is a satisfying and honorable career, but how do teachers themselves feel about the profession? This article is meant to delve into the perspective of a first-year teacher at Mentor High School to describe how her first year has gone.

Ms. Abumeri is a first-year teacher at Mentor High School. She teaches Social Studies and has agreed to answer some of our questions via e-mail regarding the experience of teaching. Here’s what she had to say:

Cardinal Nation: Is teaching what you expected it to be like? How so?

Ms. Abumeri: Teaching is exactly, yet not at all, of what I thought it would be. There is so much that goes behind the scenes that students may not realize. Especially as a first-year teacher I feel like I always have “homework” for myself. It’s definitely been a lot of work, and stressful at times with creating my lessons from scratch, making tons of mistakes, and trying to keep everyone happy. My coworkers have been a great support system throughout the year. Being young has its perks and I feel like it helps me understand where students are coming from.

Ms. Abumeri

Cardinal Nation: Did you ever have anxiety about teaching in front of a classroom, and if so, how did you manage to cope with it?

Ms. Abumeri: Oh 100%! I remember being so nervous the first day of school! I think students forget teachers are people, too. So there are tons of days where I feel anxious or have personal things going on that I can’t always show. Teachers are basically always “performing” if you think about it. For me an important thing I had to learn this year was setting boundaries and not taking everything personal. Being a first-year teacher I certainly have to remind myself that I’m bound to make mistakes, and that’s ok. On the weekends I really try to dedicate time for myself, whether that means watching TV, going to the gym, getting overpriced coffee, or hanging out with friends and family.

Cardinal Nation: What’s the best experience you’ve had this year as a teacher? What has been challenging?

Ms. Abumeri: My favorite or best experiences I’ve had this year have certainly had to be the relationships I have formed professionally! It really touches my heart that I’m making some form of a positive impact. Anytime I go to sporting events, musicals, or even when students think of me as someone they can trust. It really means a lot. I love showing support in any way I can. The most challenging thing for me this year has been learning how to navigate classroom management, especially with phones and easy access to the internet. Things have changed a lot since I was in school and being young I feel like I’m still learning and working on creating my “teacher voice”.

Cardinal Nation: What is your advice to students who want to become a teacher?

Ms. Abumeri: My biggest advice to students who want to become a teacher is to get as much NEW experience in schools as possible. When you begin student teaching try to teach at different districts or grades, not just the district you actually went to. And once you start to student teach, practice building professional relationships and networking. Consider subbing to get your foot in the door.


Cardinal Nation: Anything else you’d like us to know?

Ms. Abumeri: Overall I get asked a lot whether I still like teaching, and although there are so many things I need to fix and improve I have really enjoyed my first year at Mentor High School. Even as a teacher, I have learned so much more about history! Also try to take it easy on your teachers before you assume the worst, they are here to help you and only want the best for you! There are a lot of things they are doing behind the scenes that you may not be aware of.

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About the Contributor
Nicholas Prohaska
Nicholas Prohaska, Contributor
Nicholas took up Cardinal Nation as he wanted to improve his writing skills and use this as a starting point for his career in journalism.