Hello everyone. I am not necessarily looking for advice, unless you feel inclined to give me some. Mostly, I just want to talk about how I feel right now to people who have been there. I have worked at my school as a para for one year, and I was hired on as a full time teacher a few weeks ago. I did my interviews like everyone else, and I got in! I can't believe how blessed I am to have my dreams come true. Two other teachers were hired with me. One is an even less experienced teacher than I am, and the other has taught everything there is and was teaching at the college I attend for grad school up to now. She knows everything and is a lovely, helpful, understanding person. Today we had an English department meeting to talk about the curriculum arc and how we would structure it for grades 6-10. The other four teachers in the dept. are so knowledgeable and confident and full of ideas. I feel like I don't contribute very much, and I have to stop myself from just restating things they say that I agree with. I don't want to chatter on just to say something. Neither do I want to seem like I'm not carrying my share. I know what I want to do, but everyone else seems to know what's going on more than I do, because they've seen more things done in more schools. Our PD guy said today that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at anything, and we shouldn't expect ourselves to be perfect right away. My new teacher friend also said that the first two years of teaching are spent getting your head out of your bum, so to speak. So it isn't like I feel that they are looking down on me, and I certainly have lots of plans for learning, failing, and trying again. I just hate feeling like the weakest link. If you have stories of your first years and how you grew into the master teachers you are, I'd love to hear them.