“On my first official day of teaching, I had a backpack with me. There was nothing in it. I don’t really know why I took it. Maybe it made me feel more secure, the way children sometimes carry around a blanket or a teddy bear.
I actually hadn’t prepared anything. I had no lesson plans, no ideas about what I might say. I had no books, no materials. I didn’t even think I was going to have a job until the day before. Since the call, I was meeting with all kinds of people to get my paperwork finished and I had no time to prepare.
Some teachers decorate their classrooms. I hadn’t bought any posters or decorations. The walls of my classroom stood bare.
I got there about two hours early, standing in the middle of the room, feeling a little sick. Maybe it was something I ate, but my stomach spun around inside me.
But then, as I stood there, examining the bare walls of the classroom, I started to realize, Room 203 was my room. Mine. No one else would teach in this room but yours truly, for the next 180 school days. Of course, I had been in the room a few times before, but on this day, the room belonged to me. My dream had become real.
The gravity of the whole situation really made me want to throw up.”
– excerpt from Stories from a Teacher