I recently went to a training for seasoned teachers on how to best support new teachers during their first year. Figure 1 shows the progression of a first year teacher’s attitude toward teaching and was projected at the end of the day long training to remind us of all of the emotions a first year teacher encounters. As the first semester of my 11th year comes to an end, I can assure you that this data holds true to most teachers every single school year. The figure also mirrors some of the emotions I encountered during my first field/lab experience in the Bolnick lab as an REU during the summer of 2006 and again as an RET summer of 2013 and 2014.
For each of these emotions, I have tried to reflect on my mindset/paradigm shifts as an REU (in my early 20s and a novice teacher) and as an RET (in my early 30s with 8-9 years of teaching experience) about joining the project, doing field work, my lab experience during the summer, and the impact on my teaching practices. I’ve tried to give a brief explanation of what that phase is like as a teacher and how it is related to the field/lab experience in the summer from the perspective of a novice teacher (REU experience) and a veteran teacher (RET experience).
Tania Tasneem as an RET in summer 2013