Those words roll off my tongue like the sweet melodies of the Irish whistle my wife brought home from her mom's house. My teaching career up to this point has been like trying to play that Irish whistle. I have tried to learn basic songs, and i know the basic concepts behind it. The whistle has a nice major scale which means basic songs are fairly easy to hammer out. The notes mostly sound good together, and when I get into the groove of a real song, it sounds great. The majority of my time on the Irish whistle however is full of tweets, screeches, and all manners of miserable sounds that happen when I am fumbling to find an even flow of air, keep my fingers firmly planted on all holes (do they have a more technical term? Wikipedia says holes, so I am going with that), and with all that trying to find the right notes for the right songs (In the Jungle, Steve Miller Band - The Joker, Blink 182 - Dammit, and finally the Mario Bro's Theme song).
In many ways that was my first year of teaching. There were a few right notes (I started strong with student engagement, some activities, good one on one teaching, and even a fairly strong lesson which incoroporated WCYDWT). The rest of the time was fumbling, floundering, and all around frustration. Way too much time was spent in class giving lecture, then homework, then notes, then homework, etc. My French class was perhaps the worst of all, because I am simply not as creative in French like I am Math, and in Science I am still learning a lot to become a proficient teacher. Assessment was aweful. I can say that fairly confidently, because it was so few an far between that I could not give students a real chance to know, reflect, and react on their achievement and learning. With that being said I know I am not a failure, I am simply a first year teacher. I was over-blowing my tin whistle, and this summer I hope to learn an even keel wind velocity.