Hello! I was recently hired for my first classroom teaching position. I'll be teaching AP Physics, environmental science, and possibly chem at a high school. School starts in a month and I'm getting very anxious about preparing everything, so I've come here for advice and reassurance please. First of all, let me give you some background on me before I jump in with specific questions/issues. I've been involved in education through science summer camps and being a university teaching assistant and tutor fairly consistently since 2008. I've taken several university seminars on effective science education and outreach and used this knowledge to write a week-long summer camp curriculum which I then taught myself twice (this was grades 2-6). This past year, I managed the computer labs at a high school and spent much of my free time reading up on pedagogy. I feel like I have a pretty decent theoretical understanding of what effective teaching looks like and how to design lessons. This past winter, I stepped in for a colleague who was on maternity leave and taught 4 sections of chemistry, while the actual substitute helped with administrative tasks (like physically recording grades and signing permission slips-I did pretty much everything else). Although I was certainly challenged and only had 2 days to prep, my month in the classroom went very well and I've received tremendous positive feedback both from colleagues and the students. All of this is to say that although I don't have an education degree and haven't yet begun my alt. cert., I'm not entirely inexperienced. Happily I was hired at the same school I've been working at, so I know how things work and my colleagues. I'm going to try to focus my questions to help you all out. I've been reviewing all of the College Board materials on AP Physics and I'm completely overwhelmed. At least 25% of classroom time needs to be labs-I don't think I ever took a class like that, and I certainly never did any labs in which the procedures weren't explicitly spelled out. Happily there are plenty of resources out there so I don't need to reinvent the wheel, but it's going to take a while to figure out what's going to work for me and my setup. Question 1: How far in advance do I need to be planning? I am going to use the College Board materials to write out a general sketch of the year, but how many weeks worth of detailed plans (or at least ideas) should I have before school starts? Issue 2: I'm worried about pushback from students in response to student-led and inquiry based methods. The reading I've done and education courses I've taken have convinced me that simply handing the students information is not how I want to approach things, and the AP guidelines reinforce this. I know that some students, especially the AP students, are just going to want me to stand there and tell them what to do so they can get on with their lives. (Honestly I would have been that kid because in my experience, even when teachers asked open-ended questions, there was still a right answer/way of doing things, and I hated being penalized for not being able to read their minds.) I guess I'm sharing this concern because if I make all these plans for a very student-led classroom and the students revolt, I'm stuck. Issue 3: I'm putting tremendous pressure on myself to be perfect, even though I know that's not possible, especially not in my first year. Both my B.S. and M.S. are in the sciences. I'm very into research and evidence-based methods. I've spent so much time researching everything from late work policies to motivation to whether learning styles really need to be accommodated. I feel so much pressure to find the "right" way to do everything that will maximize learning and engagement and it's too much! I feel like if I ever stand in front of the room and have the students take notes that I'm an ineffective, lazy teacher but the reality is that I'm probably going to do that sometimes and I'm trying to tell myself that that's OK but I'm not sure that I'm fully believing it. Please, please tell me that it's OK to be "good enough" sometimes and that over time I can keep improving. I am terrified of people being able to accuse me of just taking the easy way out but honestly I do need to maintain my sanity and on some days I probably am going to need to make decisions that make things easier on me, even if they aren't absolutely optimal for the students. And tell me that it's ok at some point to stop researching and just pick activities and policies and if they don't work out, I'll change them or do things differently next year. I think these are the main ones. Many thanks for any help or advice. Part of my issue is information overload-I've found SO many AP Physics ideas and requirements in the past few days that I feel like I'm in WAY over my head. I'm trying to convince myself that I can just focus on a chunk at a time rather than try to understand the whole curriculum before I begin.