I survived my first year as a teacher. It was stop and go for awhile, but I made it to the end. As you go through school, student teaching, talking with veteran teachers, they tell you each year gets easier, the first year is tough, and you wave it off and think to yourself, I’m sure I can handle it. I did handle it, but I definitely struggled. They all were right, I had my moments, I considered other jobs, I loved and hated it, but I survived. Now I am heading into year four, and yes, it does get easier every year.
I wanted to create a visual journal page that represented a wrap up for my year. There was a lot to cram into one page, and I didn’t want it to become overwhelming, and I really had to sit and think about how to set it up. As a visual journaler I keep a folder of scrap paper, magazine cut outs, pictures, etc. that I collect and plan on using later. This was a big part of this page, because I incorporated a lot of leftover scraps from other journal pages, as well as things I never used but always planned to.
The “I Know This Much is True” and book pages are from the page I made for my co-workers journal. The splatters and dyed paper towels are from various pages I had leftovers from. The notes are from our attempt to plan out the budget for the next year, on our ridiculously small budget. The pictures of the women are from a magazine page I ripped out and saved for who knows what, I felt like it fit because it represented the moments when I had to be strict, versus the moments when I goofed off with the students. I always hang onto the notes my students leave for me, a lot of times I will sit down and find something attached to my computer, they make me smile, and I always save them. I cut out things from tardy notes, counseling department passes, things that I saw over and over throughout the school year. It is a hod podge of my daily teaching life, which is a hod podge in itself.
I enjoyed making this page because while I was leafing through the stack of things I collected, I reflected on the year. I was reminded of the good, bad, funny moments, struggles, how my students are always late… It reminded me why I am a teacher, how rewarding it can be, the little things the students do that show you they care, they appreciate you. After completing this page I decided I would do this every year, a school year wrap up, a reminder and reflection of yet another year past.
CHALLENGE: Create a page about your job. Your job is a huge part of your life, after all we spend the majority of the week at work. This will be good practice for trying to strike a balance between a good composition, while incorporating multiple images!
To create this visual journal page I used rubber cement to glue down the various pieces of paper, paper towels, post its, and magazine cut outs. I first laid everything out, and played with the arrangement, and then began gluing down the pieces. Remember it’s easier to plan out 5 times, and glue once, rather than not plan, glue, and get stuck with an arrangement that doesn’t work!
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