First year teachers talk about nerves, excitement

Billy Cannada Staff Writer

August 18, 2013

ANDERSON—It may only be the first year for three newly hired Anderson School District One instructors, but they say it already feels like home.

Amy Cook (Palmetto Middle), Courtney Samuel (Wren and Powdersville High) and Madison Lamphere (Spearman Elementary) have had hours of training, and now believe they are ready to hit the classroom.

“I’ve really felt welcomed here,” said Cook, who will teach special education at Palmetto. “It really feels like I’m just joining a big family. I’m definitely nervous, but that’s probably something every first-year teacher is going to experience. Each day we get closer to the start of school I get more excited.”

Samuel, who will be in charge of science instruction at two high schools, said she feels prepared.

“I’m nervous, but I feel very prepared,” Samuel said. “I feel like we’ve gotten a lot of feedback, suggestions and opinions as to how to keep your classroom managed and how to communicate throughout the school. Everyone has been so supportive and helpful every step of the way. I’m very excited.”

While she may feel prepared, Samuel said getting used to the commute may be difficult at times.

“I’ll be at Powdersville in the morning, I will drive during my lunch and I will be at Wren during the afternoon,” Samuel said. “I know it will be tough, but my thought process is if I can get through this year with both schools, I will be set and ready for the future.”

Lamphere said she is already getting to know her new school.

“My principal and vice principal have been so helpful,” Lamphere, who will teach kindergarten, said. “I know all my teammates are willing to help me with anything I need, so that helps with the nerves. We’re all nervous, but I think we’re as prepared as we could be.”

“No first year is going to be perfect,” she said. “Building relationships with students, parents and the staff is going to be really important for me since I’m going to be here for a while.”

Even though the three teachers say they have plenty of support, the nerves still remain.

“I’m looking forward to the first day of school, but it also makes me the most nervous,” Cook said. “We don’t do the first day of school during our teaching practicums so that’s just a totally new experience. It’s kind of scary.”

Samuel said she hopes to have a strong year in the high schools.

“Since I’m so close in age to all my students, I think it will be a challenge for me,” Samuel said. “I’m always so nice, but I’m going to have to learn to be firm and help the students understand that I’m their teacher, not their friend.”

Lamphere said she has always had an idea of what sort of instruction she would want to do when she became a teacher, but she says she knows that may change on Aug 19 when kids arrive.

“It’s really easy to say what you do when you’re in somebody else’s’ classroom, but when you’re in your own classroom with 25 five-year-olds running around I’m sure it will be a little more intimidating,” she said.