Program Director and EdCo Member, Amy Nystrand recently ‘’sat down” virtually with EdCo teacher Ansley Glenn. Ansley is a 6th Grade Math Teacher at Harpeth Hall. Listening to her first year experience is a reminder of the hope and resilience of new teachers.
Being a first year teacher is hard, it’s a known reality. Nothing can adequately prepare you for what’s to come. Being a first year teacher during a global pandemic – that’s a level of hard that’s difficult to imagine. Yet the first year it is, for many, and per usual, they’re tapping into the resilience we see in teachers time and again. That’s what we found during a virtual “sit down” with EdCo Member Ansley Glenn. She came into the classroom wanting to teach math with a focus on logic and reasoning, but also to impact students, make a difference in their lives and inspire them, which is exactly what she’s doing.
“I knew that my first year of teaching would be really hard and that there was no way around that, I just knew that that’s the reality of being a teacher, but I think it’s so much harder than I expected, but for slightly different reasons than I expected,” she says. She speaks to how her teacher prep programs made her an expert in lesson planning, but found that it’s so much more than that. “The reality of teaching is that there are just so many more aspects, from relationship building with the students, the different meetings and student support that is not related to academics, managing the classroom, managing all of the transitions in and out of the classroom, teaching enrichment classes, and extracurriculars. Everything that encompasses school – you’re a part of all of it.”
“Every single day is new to me,” she tells us, but says that she just puts one foot in front of the other and credits her incredible support system for helping her through tough days. Her friends, her co-workers, her administration, they make a big difference. “It feels like the people who are in positions of power really care, and that goes a really long way,” she says. Knowing the EdCo Community is there for her helps, even if time and energy don’t always allow her to join in with us, “It’s just encouraging to know that I’m not alone as a teacher in general, and I’m not the only one going through this right now.”
“It’s not some glorious, “I’m making it”, I’m crawling across the finish line,” she exclaims, and teachers across the globe understand. Though she feels like she’s crawling, she’s still in the race, showing up every day, and changing the lives of learners, and for that we are appreciative. The first year of teaching is hard, and it’s a gift to have teachers like Ansley Glenn continue to show up and breath passion into this profession. First year teachers, we see you. Trust us when we say, you’re doing a great job!
The Educators’ Cooperative is a non-profit organization that provides a professional learning community for K-12 teachers. Created for teachers by teachers in 2016, EdCo provides professional development and support for educators to collaborate across sectors, disciplines, and career stages. EdCo aims to revolutionize teacher development and leadership by focusing on the essential agency, autonomy, and common ground all teachers share. EdCo is based in Nashville, Tennessee with a reach far beyond that physical location and potential for replication in communities throughout the nation. When educators collaborate, the future of education is greater than the sum of its parts.
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