This is my first year teaching in the U.S. I previously taught English in Asia for six years and I was a full-time substitute in my current district last year. My teacher prep program was excellent and I felt like I was prepared for this year. I mean, technically this is my eighth year in education; I'm an extremely hard worker; I'm motivated; I freaking know what I'm doing, right?! At first lesson planning was difficult, but now I feel like I have that down better. Meanwhile, it seemed like my students were angelic the first two months, but I started having classroom management issues around Halloween. Ever since then, teaching has been a roller coaster. Some days I feel like my class is decent; many other days it's a total circus. I just had my mid-year evaluation and I definitely need to show improvement by May or else... I'm kicking myself and panicking and wondering why exactly I'm failing so much. I love learning about classroom management (seriously, I love attending courses on it and reading about it) and I always feel like I KNOW the basic principles of it (be firm and consistent, plan engaging lessons, build student rapport, etc.), but it's so hard to actually put the knowledge into practice. I've had conferences with almost every student's parents, I greet students by the door each morning, admins tell me I use all the right "teacher language," I read aloud the same books and do the same assignments/activities that other teachers on my team are using with their classes... I wish I had a crystal ball to know if I actually will make it through this year successfully (meaning being rehired next year). And the more I feel like the biggest idiot in the building, the harder it is to feel optimistic (and Optimist is normally my middle name). I have two observations tomorrow and I wish I could call in sick instead.