1. I thought that teaching would be tiring, that when school let out at 2:15 I would crave nothing more than my bed. I was wrong. Teaching is not very tiring. Yes, waking up at 5:00 to be at school by 6:00 requires some sort of chemical stimulant (sidenote: almond milk in coffee is delicious) and bouncing around a classroom in heels for seven hours is hard on the stems, but the teaching itself isn't so hard. It's the planning that absolutely blows. From the time I get home to the time I collapse into bed, I am frantically trying to teach myself the material and come up with interesting ways to present it. There are times, usually post-dinner, when I realize that I have no idea what I'm going to say in front of 87 students the next day and I am filled with panic. If someone handed me the material, I would gladly teach from sunup until sundown. It's the planning that kills me.
2. I thought that the weekends would feel fabulous. I was wrong. Friday afternoons and evenings feel fabulous. Saturdays feel fabulous. Sundays, however, initially took the name "Sunday No Funday." Now we call them "Sunday I Need a Gunday." Sundays are when you realize that there are five full days of school stretched out before you and you are not in any way prepared for any of them. Sundays are all about impending doom.
3. I thought I would care if my kids liked me or not. I was wrong. I care very much that they respect me, but I don't give a damn if they think I'm cool. In fact, I've gone out of my way to seem as old and dowdy as possible. I tell them I'm 48 and that I'm way too old to have heard of Waka Flocka Flame (the latter being 100% true). A lot of them seem to like me anyway, which I'm constantly surprised by, considering how incredibly boring some of my lessons are.
4. I thought I would really struggle teaching a subject I know nothing about. I was wrong. It would definitely be a lot easier if I didn't have to do a lot of research, but it turns out that 80% of my energy is devoted to policing behavior. The other 20% is actually teaching earth and environmental science. This is probably really problematic and one of the many reasons my school is not as high achieving as Sycamore High School, but. Eh. Rollin' with it.
5. I thought I would have time to eat. I was wrong.