I chose to study elementary education as my major in college. When I was 21 years old it was time to take the knowledge I had gained and put it into practice. It was time to begin my student teaching! I was excited, hopeful, nervous, and scared. This was what I had been preparing for. I was to be a student teacher at an elementary school in a 3rd grade classroom. At a school! In a classroom! Third grade! It all sounded exhilarating and wonderful to me.
On the day I was to begin I woke up very early. I was prepared. My bag was packed. I was dressed in a skirt, and a top that I had picked out just for this day. I was ready to go.
The time had arrived and I parked in the parking lot. I then slung my bag over my shoulder and proceeded to the front of the school, up the stairway to the impressive double doors, which were LOCKED? My heart was beating quickly already due to nerves and this unexpected event sent it into double time. I headed around to the far side(the wrong side) in search of doors I could enter through. Every set of stairs that I walked up to had a pair of locked doors. I ended up hustling around the whole building, feeling like I was going to be late with each failed attempt. Wouldn’t you know it, the doors right by the parking lot, by my car were unlocked… sensible doors to enter through, which I somehow missed.
At this point I was feeling flustered with a sheen of sweat! I decided to take a breath and a pause before entering the building, because of course I still had time. Time was the only thing that appeared to be on my side despite my worries of being late.
It was at that moment that I looked down and realized my skirt’s zipper from the back was now in the front. While hunting for an unlocked door some sort of friction had been taking place between my skirt, my nylons and my bag and had completely turned my skirt around backwards! This craziness had also twisted my tucked in shirt to the side. As soon as I noticed this I suddenly felt like my outfit was a boa constrictor wrapping around me squeezing the air out of me. My carefully chosen clothing had turned on me! There was a moment of panic.
This was not how my well prepared morning and entrance into the school as a teacher was supposed to go! Wrong door, long walk, sweatiness, and an outfit on backwards! Doors were saying don’t enter and my clothing was actually turning around and trying to head the other way. I tugged, and twisted to get everything back in order and I prayed that no one would walk in or out the door while this strange dance was going on. This tug of war with my clothing was working and everything on the outside of my body was getting put back in place. My insides, and my feelings were definitely still out of place. I was feeling embarrassed and worried about what could happen next.
After getting situated I paused and I took some deep breaths, just as I was doing before the skirt fiasco. Then I opened the door, proceeded to the office and stepped into third grade. The classroom where we learned together that mistakes, accidents, and silly things happen to us all and we might feel nervous, defeated, or embarrassed, but that moment doesn’t define the next one. If we have the courage to step forward and keep going the next moment could possibly be amazing. My step through the door to do my student teaching was certainly amazing, skirt frontwards or backwards.