I've heard a lot of comments lately made toward new teachers who are surprised at the challenges they face as a first-year teacher. I've been thinking a lot about my experience student teaching and how that shaped my view of teaching. I always wanted to be a teacher, because I wanted to make learning enjoyable for kids. I wanted to inspire, and I wanted to make an impact. During my student teaching, I rarely had the opportunity to actually teach a lesson created by me. I mostly sat and observed or taught a lesson that my cooperating teacher asked me to teach, even if it wasn't a lesson I really thought was all that great. I rarely had the opportunity to plan lessons. My cooperating teachers usually did those things, and it only took them a few minutes. My one big job was to grade papers. They rarely talked with me about the hard parts of their jobs. They basically told me to be firm and be prepared, and I would do fine. I graduated from college with pretty much no idea what I was about to get into. I was very shocked at the challenges I faced as a first year teacher. I had NOOO idea that teaching was so hard. I have come to accept the challenges, as they are a part of what I do. I also have so much more appreciation for my teachers growing up who put their best into the classroom. I think that some people, like myself, never dreamed that teaching would be such a challenging job. I am wondering if others have had the same experience student teaching as I did, and if they also felt the way I did when they started their first job.